Washington, DC – Congressman Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) and Congressman Don Young (AK-At-Large) announced bipartisan legislation to make exercise equipment and fitness classes accessible to individuals with disabilities. The Exercise and Fitness for All Act (H.R. 4561) would require the Department of Justice to develop guidelines for what changes need to be made to equipment and services for exercise facilities to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
“Far too many adults with disabilities cannot get the exercise they need to live healthy lives simply because gyms do not have the necessary equipment,” said Congressman DeSaulnier. “I am proud to sponsor this bill with Congressman Young to create a bipartisan solution and ensure the promise of the ADA is met.”
“Living healthier lives starts with creating healthier habits, which include improving our personal fitness,” said Congressman Young. “But for too many Americans living with disabilities, reaching fitness goals remains out of reach due to a widespread lack of accessible and adaptable equipment. I am proud to join Congressman Mark DeSaulnier on the Exercise and Fitness for All Act. This is an important piece of legislation that will help ensure that all people, regardless of ability, are empowered to live healthy and active lives.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 61 million adults in the United States have a disability. These Americans are three times more likely to experience serious health problems such as a heart attack or stroke. While the CDC recommends 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity as a means of reducing these threats, no guidelines currently exist for fitness centers to make this exercise possible for individuals with disabilities. A 2014 CDC study found that 47 percent of adults with a disability got no aerobic physical activity with another 22 percent getting some, but not enough. This bill will help all individuals with disabilities get the exercise they need.
Congressman DeSaulnier is a member of the House Committee on Education and Labor. He is also a member of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus, which Congressman Young co-chairs.