There is more than one sphere of life where people with disabilities cannot fully participate alongside their able-bodied friends. One such sphere has been, unsurprisingly, exercising in a gym. But that changes now, as the opening of a new iFit gym (located in LengkokBahru, Singapore) marks the first inclusive fitness center in the country.
Recently opened, the fitness center will be a place where it will be common to see bodies of varying abilities exercising together. To make everyone's workout is equal and respectful, iFit is equipped with numerous features that make it friendly for individuals with disabilities. For instance, most of the doors are set to open sideways rather than outward, so that wheelchairs may pass through without any problems. Another way the gym is wheelchair-friendly, is that workout machines feature removable seats which, once removed, create the space for a wheelchair to slide right in.
All of this would be pointless if the gym wasn’t spacious enough for machinery to be operated with little effort. Fortunately, it is set up accordingly. To further ease the experience for elderly individuals, or those with a physical disability, iFit employs air-pressure system machines from Finland that do not put harsh pressure on muscles or joints tin he way a regular machine would.
In addition, user panels on the machines feature Braille dots to help those with visual impairments navigate, while an entire system dubbed Hearing Induction Loop, is present to help the hearing impaired.
In addition to the latest equipment and advanced disability-friendly systems, iFit employs professional staff who work to create tailor exercise regimes for all of it's users who are interested.
The total cost of the iFit center exceeds half a million dollars. Singapore's National Council of Social Service is funding $250,000 toward adaptable exercise equipment. Another $250,000 came through a donation made by the Standard Chartered Bank. This money was used for outdoor gym equipment, as well as for funding fitness classes for 1,200 low-income elderly citizens.
The fees trainees are to pay for the services at iFit range. They depend on the membership period/length, as well as whether a member would use both the gym and studio classes. Ratesh range from $49 to $115 per month. Special prices are reserved for individuals with disabilities and individuals over fifty years of age, who pay just $40 per month. Individuals on extremely limited income can receive membership rates of as low as $5 per month.
Image credit: straitstimes.com