With each January that comes around the fitness industry experiences a boom, with the ‘New Year, New You’ mentality taking the nation by storm.
From the outside gyms and leisure centres paint the picture of being accessible to all, but for those with physical impairments and disabilities, is this really the case?
According to research from the English Federation of Disability Sport, 7 out of 10 disabled people in the UK say they want to become more active, but feel they are limited in the activities they can access.
As a provider of accessibility solutions, Cibes Lift Group UK has worked with a number of national fitness companies installing equipment to enable step free access to gyms and leisure centres across the UK.
Gary Sullivan, Sales and Marketing Director for Cibes, has spoken out about the importance of accessibility within the fitness industry, ensuring that gyms and leisure centres across the UK are inclusive to all.
He said: “Since London’s Paralympic games in 2012, the industry has made remarkable headway in making sport and fitness more accessible particularly in gyms and leisure centres.
“Just last year, the English Federation of Disability Sport (EFDS) which already runs the Inclusive Fitness Initiative, joined up with the company Quest to create an accreditation to award leisure facilities which are allowing disabled people to enjoy active recreation. There are already hundreds of gyms accredited, but still some facilities that are being left behind.
With 1 in every 7 people in the UK being a member of a gym, Cibes UK has seen an increase in demand for step-free access as the health and fitness industry continues to grow.
Gary added: “Gym owners must take into consideration the 2010 Equality Act, which declares disabled people cannot be discriminated against and ‘reasonable adjustments’ should be made to premises’ if necessary, but they should be going above and beyond to make sure their facilities are inclusive, providing support to users wherever and however possible.
“Everyone should have the same access to a fit and healthy body, and the fitness community need to be more understanding of the damage that messages like ‘only wimps take the stairs’ and ‘only the lazy take the lift’ could do to a person’s self-belief.
“‘New Year, New You’ needs to also be applied to the fitness industry, and that new mentality is accessibility for all.”
Cibes UK can install a range of access solutions to premises of all shapes and sizes, whether to provide access to multiple storeys or just up 2-3 steps to learn more about the company visit http://cibeslift.co.uk or call 0800 085 0269.