Have you any ideas, how Gyms could encourage more people with disabilities to take part? — Scope | Disability forum
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Have you any ideas, how Gyms could encourage more people with disabilities to take part?

Noah Member Posts: 423 Pioneering
Was just wondering if anyone had any good ideas on what Gyms need to do, to encourage more people with disabilities to take part.

What is your experience of using the Gym? How could it be improved?



  • the_velvet_girl
    the_velvet_girl Member Posts: 107 Courageous
    I can't access the cardio equipment at the gym unless I go with a friend as its on a raised platform with two steps and no handrail and my balance isn't good enough to get up and down the steps alone. The guys that work in the gym are great and give me a hand if they see me standing at the platform but the cardio platform isn't always staffed. In saying that I like my gym as it's always quiet and I don't feel self concious there.
  • kenny
    kenny Member Posts: 74 Courageous
    I have been using a gym for the past eight years, I need help getting on and off machines. I also have a go at indoor rowing, and box fit classes. These have improved my strength and co ordination. The main thing is getting some one to help
  • samantha123451
    samantha123451 Member Posts: 5
    Always have some one in the gym room at all times have a nurse on call if needed and discounts and friendly people that can help with disabled people 
  • naraemily
    naraemily Member Posts: 1
    I had a gym pass for a while  but ended up not using it because I found it too difficult not being allowed my support worker to come in with me. If I had been given a pass for a support worker to help me at the gym then I would want to go.

  • rhysmillie
    rhysmillie Member Posts: 1
    I used to use the gym. Sometimes it wasn't staffed and they didn't really listen to what you wanted to achieve with your disability. They should be trained to deal with some disabilities
  • Mickey
    Mickey Member Posts: 16
    It really would be great for people to have access to trained staff. Suspect like everyone else, perhaps more so, there's a fear of doing things wrong. Most people stuck in a gym and left to themselves struggle anyway.

    There was a study I saw on one of my google alerts earlier on the importance of exercise with cerebral palsy. I'll try and dig it out. I've been involved in some early stages work on improving physical activity levels for people with another health issue, and time and time again it comes up that people need some guidance to get started.
  • Noah
    Noah Member Posts: 423 Pioneering
    Thanks everyone for contributing to most interesting discussion. I would be most interested to read more about the study of the importance of exercise with cerebral palsy.

    Hopefully we can try and encourage Gyms to be more inclusive and accessible.

    Please keep your comments coming, they are much appreciated.

  • Mickey
    Mickey Member Posts: 16

    There's the link. The study showed that in (an admittedly small group) trained athletes with hemiplegia, although there was a difference in muscle mass in the affected side compared to the other side, there was no difference in bone density. It's an interesting read.
  • Stayce
    Stayce Member Posts: 755 Pioneering
     Thought this link maybe helpful. Disability Sport English Federation www.efds.co.uk These originations have details of over 400 inclusive fitness gyms around each country with specially designed equipment for anyone in the Scope community looking for an accessible/inclusive gym 

  • niceboots
    niceboots Member Posts: 196 Pioneering

    Hi I'm an avid Gym user and have been for about a year. I try to keep a routine of going two to three times a week depending on work, other activities and of course bad cp days!!

    I find it fantastic in terms of maintaining my level of fitness and mobility (which before I started to use the gym was really beginning to deteriorate) I also find it helps 'break up' tightness and spasticity. I also find it a brilliant social activity too... I have a few friends that use the same gym, and we go together, I have also got to know some of the staff and other people that go at the times I do, so am quite happy to go on my own.

    My experiences of using a gym has been pretty good, I think it's important to 'shop around' to find a gym that suits your needs. There are three in the town nearest to me, two of which I found totally unsuitable as they are upstairs with no lift, and not spaced out very well, making them difficult to navigate safely for a wobbly person!!  The one I use recently had a referb, and is really well planned out, although it is on three levels, the stairs are easy to get up and down. Communication is key when first looking at gyms, getting a guided tour by a member of the gym staff is a must! I came up with a exercise plan with my physio before I started even looking at gyms, so when I had my tour I could set out what I want to achieve from using the gym. It also makes the induction easier and less daunting! It's also good to be 'up front' about the help you may need when using the gym, I've found the staff to be very helpful in assisting me when I need it and I've picked up tips on how to get more out of my exercise routine when they've been helping.

    I understand it can be daunting going into the gym, especially in the weights/resistance area where all the wanna be body builders hang out, but I good friend pointed out that they are to busy looking in the mirror to notice other people!!!!  

  • basiclee08
    basiclee08 Member Posts: 66 Courageous
    Hello I use my local leisure Centre for swimming hydro therapy lessons and it has a small but accessible gym I try to keep muscle wastage to a minimum. not sure who is winning battle thou yet. Great staff and community very helpful and friendly disability not a issue. after we have a coffee and catch up discuss problems. I find alot better than going to physiotherapy in hospital.  
  • JenniferU
    JenniferU Member Posts: 108 Courageous
    edited November 2016
    Hello @niceboots

    Congratulations, we'd like to give you a £10 M&S voucher for this top post above! Please email me at [email protected] with your address and I can send it to you. 

    We'll be giving out monthly prizes for the best posts that we feel are very helpful, friendly and everything we want our community to be! Keep your eyes peeled for more. 

    Have a lovely weekend!
  • 0703370886
    0703370886 Member Posts: 1
    Hello everyone. I'm Sharon and not disabled.I'm a student of CBR. Its all about persons with disabilities and vulnerable persons. I joined this group because I'm doing my research on the education of children with disabilities. I just want to 
  • JenniferU
    JenniferU Member Posts: 108 Courageous

    We'd still love to send you that prize! (see above) Please email us your address: [email protected] 



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