A new 'Social Fitness Zone' installed at Welland Park, Market Harborough opens on 12th June with the aim of inspiring fitness amongst communities.
The project was initiated after a local woman, who was coming to the end of a gym referral from the NHS, was looking for a cheaper alternative to the gym to maintain a fitness routine. However, she found that the gym equipment in Welland Park was not clearly labelled and she failed to understand how to exercise using the equipment.
Harborough District Council and Proludic worked in partnership to devise an outdoor ‘Social Fitness Zone’ for the whole community to use. The installation was carried out by Proludic. The aim is to reduce the financial burden on the NHS by providing a free exercise referral programme as part of the ‘Active Together’ initiative, which aims to improve the health and well being of communities. This provides an alternative to paid-for gym memberships offered to some patients by the NHS.
Gym equipment is clearly labelled with exercise demonstrations, which can also be viewed on smart phones by simply scanning a special code displayed alongside the equipment.
A local personal trainer is also now available to assist people who may want some guidance and motivation in using the fitness equipment. There has already been a spike of interest from community groups including Leicestershire Support Workers, who work closely with families with complex needs who often have no or little budget for fitness programmes.
Zoe Calder, a representative of Active Together said, "Lack of fitness is an issue facing the Market Harborough community, and this sort of investment is extremely welcome as we work together to bring fitness and health at the forefront of the community."
"It’s great to see the equipment having clear instructions and QR code technology for people to use. I expect to see a number of people of all ages and abilities using the equipment, and I am looking forward to seeing the positive outcome of this."
Proludic's Managing Director Michael Hoenigmann commented, "Research we have done has shown that 69% of the population are totally reliant on parks for their physical exercise - from walking the dog to community fitness instructors, parks are where our nation gets its exercise."
"It has been great working with a council that is active in working towards increasing community fitness. I look forward to seeing the results of this Social Fitness Zone."