Going to the gym is a pretty standard procedure. You change into your gym clothes, maybe put on some snappy gloves, and hit a rotation of machines. Then you head to the showers, put your street clothes back on, and go about your day with little thought given to how seamless it all is. But that’s not the case for everyone. Workout machines and general exercise equipment were made for the average person, so people with impairments or disabilities are basically left out of the equation. One young designer noticed this lack of accessibility in the gym and set out to change it.
In this installment of Dyson’s Agents of Change, we catch up with James Dyson Award finalist Ryan Eder of Include Health. Eder was at a gym going through his regular routine when he noticed someone in a wheelchair struggling to use the equipment. Eder recalled that that person had “a bag of homemade accessories to transfer in-and-out of the chair and adapt” that he’d schlepped from home just to be able to work out. This lit a fire in Eder’s mind and he set out to make a change and help create gym machines accessible to everyone. But the idea was just the start .
Weeks of work turned into months of fundraising and pitching that turned into years of trial and error for Eder. Nothing comes easy when you’re trying to make people’s lives better, of course, and Eder fought for as long as it took to make his vision of universally accessible exercise machines a reality.
In the end, Eder and his team ended up with an exercise machine that every person can use. It’s technology that’s forward-thinking and sleek-looking. It has gained support from physical therapists to the esteemed James Dyson Foundation. Watch the video above to find out more about Eder’s story.
And to learn more about the James Dyson Award, visit https://www.jamesdysonaward.org.