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The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability in collaboration with Beneficial Designs, Inc. Release New Guide: Discover Accessible Fitness A Wheelchair User’s Guide for Using Fitness Equipment

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 8/15/2014

The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability in collaboration with Beneficial Designs, Inc. Release New Guide: Discover Accessible Fitness
A Wheelchair User’s Guide for Using Fitness Equipment

The lack of participation in physical activity is a serious public health concern for all Americans, but even more so for the approximately 56 million Americans with disability who are at a much greater risk for developing serious health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.  The high incidence of secondary conditions reported among people with disability including obesity, fatigue, pain, deconditioning and depression, combined with environmental barriers that discourage participation in community exercise programs, presents an opportunity for health professionals to target people with disabilities in their long range plans.  Physical activity can provide individuals with disability the strength and stamina required to participate in all aspects of life actively and successfully.

The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD), in partnership with Beneficial Designs, released a new resource titled, “Discover Accessible Fitness: A Wheelchair User’s Guide for Using Fitness Equipment”.  This resource can be used by people with disability and fitness professionals to become familiar with key considerations for wheelchair users using fitness equipment.  This guide discusses safety, stability, adaptive equipment, accessibility, exercise precautions, and a full overview of the components of fitness including cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility.

This resource was developed as an educational tool in response to two new standards for inclusive fitness equipment approved in August of 2013 by the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM).  These standards provide specifications for fitness equipment that is accessible to users of all abilities and will be used to ensure future development and use of fitness equipment that more closely meets the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  “Accessible mainstream fitness equipment decreases costs and facilitates compliance with the ADA,” says Seanna Kringen, research associate, Beneficial Designs Inc.  “Increase in activity level decreases secondary conditions and health costs often associated with disability. Affording people with disability the opportunity to exercise in public facilities, rather than specialized medical therapy settings, increases the social opportunity to interact with family and friends.”

This guide can be viewed online at www.nchpad.org/discoverfitness and is available for download by following this link.  To request a print copy, please contact NCHPAD. 

About NCHPAD
The National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability (NCHPAD) primarily focuses on improving the health, wellness, and quality of life of people with disability. They promote and facilitate increased participation in physical activity and recreation. NCHPAD’s goal has been to use new and emerging technologies to reach into the homes of people with disability and in local communities across the United States. NCHPAD continues to enhance connectivity, inclusion, and communication between disability service providers and local, county, and state public health programs.  NCHPAD is funded as a National Public Health Practice and Resource Center by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Contact NCHPAD toll-free at 1-800-900-8086 (voice and TTY), send an email at email@nchpad.org, or visit their website at www.nchpad.org

About Beneficial Designs, Inc.
Beneficial Designs, Inc. develops assistive and adaptive technology, performs rehabilitation research, contract design, legal consultation, standards development, and serves as a rehabilitation information resource.  Beneficial Designs, Inc. works toward universal access through research, design, and education.  They believe all individuals should have access to the physical, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of life.  They seek to enhance the quality of life for people of all abilities, and work to achieve this aim by developing and marketing technology for daily living, vocational, and leisure activities. Contact Beneficial Designs, Inc. at 775-783-822, send an email to mail@beneficialdesigns.com, or visit their website at www.beneficialdesigns.com.

Next Certified Inclusive Fitness Trainer (CIFT) Webinar series March 18 - April 22, 2015.  Sign up at certification.acsm.org