Exercise facilities for neurologically disabled populations : perceptions from the fitness industry

Anderson, Cheryl, Grant, Robert L. and Hurley, Michael V. (2017) Exercise facilities for neurologically disabled populations : perceptions from the fitness industry. Disability and Health Journal, 10(1), pp. 157-162. ISSN (print) 1936-6574

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BACKGROUND: People with neurological disabilities (pwND) face many barriers to undertaking physical activity. One option for exercise alongside formal physiotherapy is local fitness facilities but accessibility is often found wanting and gyms are seen as unwelcoming to pwND. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this exploratory study was to investigate the perceptions of fitness facility managers with respect to exercise for pwND in a gym environment. The aim was to identify potential barriers to provision by the fitness industry for pwND. METHODS: The participants included those who were in a position to influence provision at a policy level and those working at management level within fitness providers. A mixed methods approach was used: a quantitative questionnaire and 4 qualitative interviews. Descriptive and correlational analysis, thematic content analysis and concurrent triangulation analysis was undertaken. RESULTS: Specially trained staff is perceived to be necessary to make fitness facilities accessible for pwND. CONCLUSIONS: Ensuring the provision of specially trained staff to support pwND to exercise in gyms may be the main barrier to provision for this population. Investigation into the standard training of fitness professionals combining the expertise of neurological physiotherapists with that of fitness professionals to meet the needs of pwND would be advantageous.

Item Type: Article
Research Area: Biological sciences
Sports-related studies
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education (until 2017)
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Depositing User: Katrina Clifford
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2016 11:38
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2018 10:42
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dhjo.2016.09.006
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/36117

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