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Planet Fitness to Provide Accessible Equipment

Planet Fitness to Provide Accessible Equipment

Global fitness franchise Planet Fitness is gearing up to provide exercise equipment for people with disabilities in their facilities. This is being done in collaboration with several organizations, including the American Council of the Blind.

Planet Fitness is sticking by its “judgement free zone” motto with the latest inclusion of “accessible exercise equipment.” In an official press release, the fitness franchise, in collaboration with the Paralyzed Veterans of America, National Council on Independent Living, and American Council of the Blind, detailed its commitment to better serving disabled individuals.

“People with disabilities face significant barriers when attempting to access health and wellness activities, and it’s clear that health inequity is often due to lack of access and opportunity. Today’s commitment is another way we are working to eliminate barriers and enhance people’s lives by providing a high-quality fitness experience for everyone,” said Planet Fitness CEO Chris Rondeau.  

Planet Fitness clients will eventually see a number of accessible equipment in facilities. Among the products will include an inclusive dual cable strength machine (for seated position exercising), a recumbent cardio machine, multiple cardio machines (such as treadmills and recumbent bikes) and new cardio machines with “inclusive features.” The inclusive features cardio equipment will especially benefit the vision impaired, which the Coalition for Inclusive Fitness CEO Richard Thesing highly praised.

“At the present time, there are no cardio machines that can be used by blind people and very few fitness centers have cardio or strength machines that can be used by people with mobility disabilities,” Thesing began. “This marks a huge step forward towards providing individuals with disabilities with a truly inclusive fitness experience.”

He added, “We hope this will be the start of an industry-wide effort to provide individuals with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy an accessible fitness experience and take similar steps to making that a reality.”  

Disability Rights Advocates Staff Attorney Emily Seelenfreund also applauded Planet Fitness’s dedication to offering an inclusive exercise experience for the disabled.

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“Exercise is for everyone,” declared Seelenfreund. “Planet Fitness’ pioneering commitment to increasing accessibility should serve as a model for fitness facilities across the country.”

As we reported last week, national adaptive sports organization Move United now has a digital fitness platform that “provides adaptive fitness training classes with the help of celebrity adaptive fitness instructors” for people with disabilities. Moreover, certain cities, such as Philadelphia, house boutique gyms, organizations and studios with disability-friendly exercise sessions. However, Planet Fitness is the first global fitness center franchise of its kind to supply widespread accessible fitness equipment.

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