Whizz-Kidz has launched a campaign to improve access to gyms after a survey found that only two out of the eight national chains it contacted could fully accommodate wheelchair users.
The charity has also voiced its concerns about gyms' attitudes to people with disabilities after one venue claimed a flight of stairs shouldn't be a problem because its "strong boys" could carry a wheelchair user up it. And one national chain told an applicant that her carers had to join the gym too.
This contrasted sharply with the views of gym users, 92 per cent of whom said that gyms should be fully accessible. Two-thirds of those questioned also said they would pay higher fees to improve access.
Ruth Owen, chief executive of Whizz-Kidz and a wheelchair-user herself, said: "I was shocked to find that just one out of three local gyms would be suitable for me to join."