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Outdoor fitness for every age, every body and everyone.

Posted on 07.07.2022 in Company News , design , inclusive , inclusive design , KOMPAN , Outdoor fitness , Outdoor Fitness Equipment , outdoor gym

Inclusion is not about creating segregated areas for specific users but about creating a truly integrated environment. To achieve a truly integrated environment, insights, universal design principles and discussions with actual users need to be incorporated.

If there is one thing that we know about KOMPAN, it is that for 50 years, research, testing and universal design has played an integral role in their product development. With access to the latest sports and exercise research from world-leading universities, combined with feedback from real-life testers at their fitness institute, KFI are continually adapting and innovating. Their new inclusive outdoor fitness range is testament to that with market research, market feedback and innovation at its core.

KOMPANs new range of inclusive outdoor fitness is helping to create outdoor spaces where everyone can enjoy the benefits of exercising outdoors. When designing an outdoor gym in the public ream, it is important that they are inclusive and accessible to accommodate all users, regardless of their fitness levels and physical abilities.


Evidence based design

According to the WHO, world-wide one out of six persons suffer from some kind of disability (WHO, 2021). People with disabilities have an even higher need for physical activity opportunities than the general population but, paradoxically have much fewer opportunities for physical activity. Compared to indoor fitness, outdoor fitness spaces provide ample opportunities for inclusive fitness as there are no physical barriers to entry, it is easier to create spacious environments and they can be used by people for free (KOMPAN, 2022). In addition to this, research from the KOMPAN Fitness Institute (2019) that surveyed 60 people with mobility related diseases showed that 92% of the people surveyed would use an outdoor training facility if it was useful for them. Since 2019, KOMPAN has worked on implementing these learning into new outdoor fitness concepts, with the new inclusive strength equipment being an example of this.

Reducing barriers through co-design 

When designing their inclusive outdoor fitness range, experts in the KOMPAN Fitness Institute involved the user in every step of the design process. They conducted workshops, had users test their ideas, prototypes and final products. All feedback provided from the market research is actively used in their product development. In fact, KOMPAN worked alongside the Danish Paralympic Rugby team to test the new products. Hear what they had to say in the below videos.

One machine, multiple functions. 

Multifunctionality is important when creating universally designed products. The KOMPAN Back Bench can be used for lower back exercises, but can also be used as a safe dip-station accessed by a wheelchair. The strength machines wide and open chair allows for an easy transfer from a wheelchair and the cardio machines have adjustable resistance, catering to all fitness levels.

The ergonomically shaped handles have different grip areas for adaptable training, allowing people from 140 – 205 cm tall, to perform the exercise ergonomically and at the same time allowing multiple different exercises.The handles on the fitness equipment are designed to be easy to use for people with low hand grip or finger strength and allow for support tools like hooks or straps.

Universal design for outdoor fitness

By applying the principles of universal design to outdoor fitness spaces, we can create training spaces that are welcoming and useful for all. This is achieved by reducing barriers and including a variety of exercise opportunities for the widest range of users – disabilities or not. It is important to remember that inclusion is not about creating segregated areas for specific users but about creating a truly integrated environment (KOMPAN, 2022) 

In their recent Whitepaper KOMPAN highlight a range factors that need to be taken into account when applying universal design for outdoor fitness sites such as multi-functional activities, access and communication. Read the full white paper here 

Want to design your own inclusive outdoor gym?

Read tips on how to design a universal outdoor gym from the KOMPAN Fitness Institute 



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