This is a legacy version of the WELL Building Standard. Please check the latest version here.

Physical activity spaces

In the U.S., the presence of both indoor and outdoor physical activity facilities within a census-block group is associated with an increased likelihood of performing five or more bouts of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, and is linked to a lower risk of being overweight. In addition, buildings that contain an interior fitness space incentivize occupants to engage in regular exercise routines and allow a variety of exercise activities, including low-impact exercises like yoga or Pilates, or more intense activities such as aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise.

Part 1: Site Space Designation for Offices

Spaces with more than 10 regular occupants provide complimentary access to the following:

a.87 Dedicated exercise space that is at least 18.6 m² [200 ft²] plus 0.1 m² [1 ft²] per regular building occupant, up to a maximum of 370 m² [4,000 ft²].
Part 2: External Exercise Spaces

At least one of the following spaces is accessible within 0.8 km [0.5 mi] walking distance of the building’s main entrance:

a.87 A green space or park with playground features.
b.1 A workout station or fitness zone.
c. A trail network.
d. An accessible body of water or public swimming pool.
e. A gym, fitness or training center.
f. A recreational field.
Part 3: Physical Activity Spaces for Schools

One of the following requirements are met:

a. Physical activity facilities in the form of a gymnasium or playing field must be provided on-site.
b.170 Free, direct pedestrian access to gymnasiums, playing fields or swimming pools through a shared facilities agreement or a similar arrangement.

Applicability Matrix

Core & Shell New & Existing Buildings New & Existing Interiors
Part 1: Site Space Designation for Offices O O O
Part 2: External Exercise Spaces O O O
Commercial Kitchen Education Multifamily Residential Restaurant Retail
Part 1: Site Space Designation for Offices - O - - -
Part 2: External Exercise Spaces - - O O O
Part 3: Physical Activity Spaces for Schools - O - - -

Verification Methods Matrix

Letters of Assurance Annotated Documents On-Site Checks
Part 1: Site Space Designation for Offices Architectural Drawing
Part 2: External Exercise Spaces Annotated Map
Part 3: Physical Activity Spaces for Schools Policy Document

U.S. Green Building Council. LEED v4: Reference Guide for Building Design and Construction. Washington D.C.: U.S. Green Building Council; 2013: 37, 43-44, 541-552, 567, 605, 623, 645-53, 658-61, 682-3, 685-6, 723-4.


USGBC's LEED v4 SS credit: Joint Use of Facilities, for Schools, Option 3 requires collaboration between school authorities and organizations/agencies to provide access to various types of spaces, including gyms, playing fields and swimming pools.


New York City Departments of Design and Construction, Health and Mental Hygiene, Transportation, City Planning. Active Design Guidelines: Promoting Physical Activity and Health in Design. Published 2010: 4-7; 34; 43; 72-76; 85-87.


The NYC Active Design Guidelines recommend providing physical activity spaces such as exercise rooms, active play spaces, and multi-purpose recreational spaces in public, workplace and residential buildings.


NYC Active Design Guidelines recommend locating places of residence and work near existing recreational facilities, walking paths, parks, and waterfront areas.


LEED v4 Joint Use of Facilities. U.S. Green Building Council. Accessed March 03, 2015.


LEED v4 Joint Use of Facilities provides 3 options, one of which involves sharing facilities with other organizations to provide direct pedestrian access to two out of six possible spaces, including gymnasiums, playing fields, and pools.