The Democratic National Committee is ready for its employees to get physical. It’s even happy to help employees pay for the privilege.
The DNC reported that it spent upward of $32,000 a year on gym memberships and $1,500 at the Logan Circle yoga studio Flow Yoga Center during the 2012 election cycle, facts first spotted by Sam Stein, Huffington Post’s eagle-eyed political editor.
DNC spokesman Brad Woodhouse confirms the figures but clarifies that the DNC doesn’t pay for its employees’ gym or yoga memberships out of party coffers.
The DNC “withholds [membership dues] from employee paychecks and pays the health club,” Woodhouse explains. Memberships are not subsidized, he says. In addition, Woodhouse is careful to note that the gym doesn’t give the DNC a special discount.
Employees receive a normal group discount, he says. The arrangement at Flow Yoga Center is a similar one.
The Republican National Committee, on the other hand, has no such program, RNC press secretary Kirsten Kukowski confirms. Neither does the RNC provide employees with an office gym.
Physical activity directly correlates to employee productivity, stress and overall happiness, although a run around the Capitol campus can serve the same purpose as a gym membership.
“[D]id you know that exercise can make you more productive?” asks Bob Pozen, senior lecturer at Harvard Business School and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, in his Huffington Post blog post. “The latest research shows that a regular exercise routine can make you happier, smarter and more energetic.”
According to Pozen’s latest book, “Extreme Productivity: Boost Your Results, Reduce Your Hours,” people who work out together are better able to commit to taking time out of their day.
“Exercise makes people very happy — only sex makes people happier,” he says. “And the happier you are, the more productive you can be.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.