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Accessible Sports Facilities - A Summary of Accessibility Guidelines for Recreation Facilities

Exercise Equipment and Machines

At least one of each type of exercise equipment or machine must have clear floor space of at least 30 by 48 inches and be served by an accessible route. If the clear space is enclosed on three sides (e.g., by walls or the equipment itself), the clear space must be at least 36 by 48 inches.

exercise equipment

Most strength training equipment and machines would be considered different types. For example, a bench press machine is different from a biceps curl machine. If operators provide both a biceps curl machine and free weights, both must meet the guidelines in this section even though both can be used to strengthen biceps. Likewise, cardiovascular exercise machines, such as stationary bicycles, rowing machines, stair climbers and treadmills, are all different types of machines. But if the only difference in equipment provided is that they have different manufacturers, but are the same type, only one must comply.

Clear floor space must be positioned to allow a person to transfer from a wheelchair or to use the equipment while seated in a wheelchair. For example, to make a shoulder press accessible, the clear floor space should be next to the seat. But the clear floor space for a bench press designed for use by a person using a wheelchair would be centered on the operating mechanisms. Clear floor space for more than one piece of equipment may overlap. For example, where different types of exercise equipment and machines are located next to other pieces of equipment, the clear space may be shared. (See figure “Clear Space Requirements Around Exercise Equipment” on page 12.)

The exercise equipment and machines themselves do not need to comply with the ADAAG requirements regarding controls and operating mechanisms.

Designers and operators are encouraged to select exercise equipment that provides fitness opportunities for persons with lower body extremity disabilities.

illustration of clear space requirements around exercise equipment


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