With the disability community accounting for 15% of the global population it was only a matter of time before a fitness app was created especially for them. Find out more about the world's first fitness app for people with impairments from one of the founder's himself, Ali Jawad
The rise of health and fitness apps have been increasing at a rapid rate recently, equating to over 71,000 current fitness apps in the Apple Store and on Google Play. The fitness app industry is expected to expand at an annual growth rate of 17.6% from 2022 to 2030. However, even though the fitness app industry is thriving, there is a community that is being left behind. The disability community accounts for 15% of the global population (approximately 1 billion people) but currently, no fitness app on the market solely caters for them.
To address the problem, Rio 2016 Paralympic silver medallist Ali Jawad and World Champion sailor Sam Brearey founded Accessercise - the world’s complete first fitness app that is especially designed for people with disabilities and impairments with the aim to break down the barriers that disabled people continue to face within the fitness app industry. It aims to achieve this through three main features:
- A unique impairment specific exercise library where exercise demonstrations are shown by people of the user’s disability (for example, if you’re a double leg amputee, you’ll be shown videos by someone who is a double leg amputee), – All videos have voice overs and subtitles regardless of impairment
- A social hub where users can like, share, comment and motivate other people’s fitness journeys and create a sense of community with other disabled users
- The explore section where users can rate the accessibility of gyms and fitness centres in their local areas.
Accessercise and Adaptive Rowing
Accessercise was created as a recreational disability fitness app that caters for all levels of impairments within the community. With this in mind, we understand that users would like a choice in how they stay fit and active through other forms of exercise such as adaptive yoga, adaptive HITT, and adaptive boxercise. Therefore, the work of British Rowing and their adaptive rowing programmes has made rowing truly accessible for everyone. They achieve this by using adaptive seating, teaching an adapted rowing stroke, and using different communication methods.
At Accessercise, we want to promote the good work that British Rowing are doing with future plans to include adaptive rowing videos that demonstrate varying techniques specific for people with impairments and on demand adaptive indoor rowing workouts similar to British Rowing’s 20-minute Go Row Indoor videos on YouTube for users to implement in their exercise schedules. Watch this space!
Accessercise believe promoting National Governing Bodies such as British Rowing is fundamental in driving community participation in adaptive sports within the disability community and raising awareness that exercise is for all.
Accessercise top tips
The foundation of the Accessercise app is empowering, educating, and guiding anyone with a disability on their health and fitness journeys. We believe that disabled users are their own experts regarding their impairments, therefore we do not provide training programmes but allow users to create their own workouts through our ‘My workout’ function. This function helps learn how to perform exercises, set goals, stay consistent and track their progress.
We also recognise that there is still a long way to go for gyms and sport facilities to become accessible and encourage users to use the ‘explore’ section in the app to help us and their local facilities by rating their ‘accessibility’ score. For example, does the gym have adaptive rowing machines or equipment for you to complete your workout? This is such a powerful tool because it allows users to see where the most accessible facility in their local area is but also allows gyms to understand how they can do better to cater for users.
It’s important to speak and engage with like-minded disabled people and the social hub allows them to make friends but also track their fitness journeys! Even arrange to have a workout as a group and create their own group!
The future aspirations for Accessercise
According to the Activity Alliance, 90% of people with impairments believe they are still underserved by the app market, with 70% wanting to improve or maintain their physical health. Therefore, the fitness industry cannot continue to fear people with impairments, in fact, it needs to be encouraged to engage and work in collaboration to better understand the needs of these individuals Accessercise has come at the right time for the disability community to empower, educate, and guide them, whilst enabling users to take control of their journey in the hope the fitness industry takes notice and creates a variety of options like what is currently offered to the general population.
Accessercise could be a significant disruptor within the fitness app industry in modern times and looks forward to working with the fitness industry and national governing bodies in order to increase accessibility for disabled people around the world. Our aim is that Accessercise becomes the most accessible fitness app ever and would love you to come on this historic journey with us to change access to exercise forever.
Join Accessercise here or find it on social media: