Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
For the many students who wake up early on the weekend ready for a workout, the Matchbox has recently expanded its hours, changing its opening time from 11:00am to 9:00am on Sunday mornings.
This recent change was made after the athletics department analyzed data on Matchbox usage. “Any and all changes that happen for the Matchbox with regard to our hours—it’s all data-driven,” said Assistant Athletics Director for Recreation and Wellness Max Miller (left). “It’s evaluating our usage patterns of the facility and then making a recommendation or change if there is a change. It’s all just to benefit the campus community through expanding the hours to make sure that people have other opportunities to use our facility.”
For liability reasons, the OneCard office holds information about who is entering the Matchbox as well as how many people are entering and at what times. Likewise, the exercise equipment company LifeFitness records information on the use of the cardio machines However, unlike OneCard data, this information cannot be traced to an individual.
The information provided allows for trends such as peak hours to be identified. Peak hours at the Matchbox are 3:00pm-7:00pm on weekdays. According to Miller, this particular trend is probably a result of students wanting to to destress or get in their daily workout right after classes.
Other available data include the number of miles that have been run or biked, and for how much time certain equipment is used. The data has shown that people tend to use cardio equipment located closest to the door, and so this equipment is switched around to make sure that all equipment is used evenly.
The Matchbox also tracks how many people attend its recreational and wellness-focused programs such as SwatFit, which offers a variety of exercise classes at no cost. “It’s a good opportunity for students on campus, for faculty and staff on campus, to participate and to get moving and try something new,” said Miller.
Currently, SwatFit is very well attended, but in efforts to further improve SwatFit, the program is continuously evaluated. During the first two weeks of the program, over a hundred people participated. Though the numbers have dropped since then, 65 people participated last week. Yoga was the largest class, with 35 attendees. SwatHIIT (Swarthmore High-Intensity Interval Training) is also one of the more popular classes provided by SwatFit.
If you are interested in other programs provided by the Matchbox and or want more information regarding these classes, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Featured image courtesy of www.swarthmore.edu
Image of Max Miller courtesy of Brandon Hodnett, Director of Athletic Communications