How to stabilize the wheelchair while working out at the Fitness Facility?

Use of fitness equipment is important to individuals of all abilities. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, reasonable accommodation must be made to enable users of all abilities to access any equipment in a fitness facility. However, certain precautions must be made by individuals using mobility devices in order to prevent instability and loading hazards. These issues should be taken into consideration, not only by the users themselves, but also by fitness equipment designers and fitness facility management.

The use of fitness equipment by individuals using mobility devices may cause rearward, forward, or lateral instability, in addition to overload problems.

{Video: Wheelchair stability while Exercising}


For example, wheelchair users may experience rearward instability when performing an incline chest press. Once the center of gravity, located at about the front of the stomach area, moves to the rear of the axle of the wheelchair, rearward tipping may result.

Possible solutions to this problem include the use of a spotter (1), placing a weight on the footrest (2), using a wheel chock (2), tying down the wheelchair (3), or any combination of these methods.

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In order to raise awareness of these issues among users and trainers, Beneficial Designs Inc. is developing posters, brochures, and warning labels illustrating various potential hazards as well as proper safety precautions necessary for individuals using mobility devices. This educational material will help to ensure safe and beneficial fitness experiences for individuals of all abilities. For more details visit the Beneficial Designs website.