Cybex International, Inc. was recently recognized by the Inclusive Fitness Initiative (IFI) with the company's UK arm receiving Stage 2 IFI accreditation on 12 pieces of cardiovascular and resistance equipment. The IFI’s extensive accreditation process ensures that all IFI accredited equipment meets stringent design specifications and standards for the inclusive fitness market for people with disabilities. As a result the equipment also offers many benefits to other markets such as the fast growing senior market, and includes features like ease of access handlebars, which are below seat height to assist transfer from a wheelchair or other mobility aid, large color contrasted main control buttons and text, and simple one touch start programs with low start levels. CYBEX’s Total Access CV range offers Unicam™ pedals with heel straps, which prevent the user’s feet from slipping off the pedals.

“People with disabilities including injured veterans and service men and women often go to a fitness center or health club to improve their quality of life but they don’t want to seek assistance from instructors every few minutes. They wish to be independent and this is what IFI equipment offers them,” said Simon Withey, Managing Director CYBEX UK. “At CYBEX our equipment is designed for a variety of users. “This latest range of accredited CYBEX equipment is further testimony to our commitment to positively impact the end user and industry as a whole.”

The CYBEX cardiovascular equipment that earned IFI accreditation includes the 630A Total Body Arc Cross Trainer, the 445T Treadmill, the 530C Upright Cycle and the 530R Recumbent Cycle. It is designed with state of the art features that are appropriate for visually, sensory and mobility impaired individuals as well as non disabled users. The newly accredited equipment includes a Cable Column, Seated Leg Curl, Leg Extension and Leg Press, as well as four individual upper body pieces, a Chest Press, Overhead Press, Lat Pull and Row.

Features include easy weight selection, via integral 3-position twist/select from seated exercise position, weight stacks with low start weights and 2.5kg increments, which are suitable for inexperienced and older users, swing away seats with a locking plunger adjustment, which allow easy access for wheelchairs users and one handed seat adjustment for users with limited mobility.

Other innovations include exercise instructions at seated user height, to ensure ease of reading from a seated position by all users including those in wheelchairs, as well as a choice of upper and lower handle positions, which cater for wheelchair users who cannot adjust seat height, shorter users and those with balance problems, who can then maintain full foot contact with the floor.

According to Withey, the concept of inclusive fitness is now being developed around the world in countries like Australia and New Zealand, while the Inclusive Fitness Coalition was recently introduced in the USA by Dr. James Rimmer of the University of Illinois.