Get Active for All Pledge

Today there are 1.5 billion people in the world living with a disability, and many more living with at least one chronic disease like cancer, diabetes, or heart disease.

As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, the essential nature of regular physical activity has become apparent even as policymakers around the world have, through their actions, conveyed the message that they consider the fitness industry non-essential.

Many people of a broad range of backgrounds, ages, and abilities want to exercise in your club, but many also face barriers to exercising. These barriers can include well-known roadblocks like time, cost, transportation, and intimidation, as well as perceived negative attitudes, discrimination, and lack of inclusion. Uncertainty around COVID-19 has added a new barrier, especially for people over the age of 65 and those with underlying medical conditions.

The prevailing image of health clubs as non-essential has been in part attributed to perceptions around fitness centers’ cleanliness and lack of broad appeal (at best fitness clubs reach 20% of the population).

The public needs to know that we, as an industry, are a supportive, welcoming, and inclusive place for people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities.

This is where the Get Active for All Pledge comes in—the first step in moving toward broadening our sector’s reach and achieving greater inclusivity of all people in fitness and sport.

What Is the Purpose of the Pledge?

The purpose of this pledge is simple: Inspire the industry to empower and support adults and children of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to be more active.

Clubs alone cannot address every single barrier, but we have the power to create an inclusive sport and fitness sector. We can help people of all abilities achieve full participation in sports and fitness, and make sure no one feels unwelcome or intimidated. We can innovate and adapt our offerings to make a space (virtual or brick-and-mortar) for every person.

Physical inactivity is a global problem, and the outlook is often worse for those living with disabilities. When the UNESCO Chair asked fitness clubs about their members with disabilities, 57% reported having 10% of members—or fewer—with disabilities, and 28% reported not having any members at all with disabilities. The COVID-19 pandemic has only widened these disparities.

What Is the Get Active for All Pledge & Where Can You Sign?

The Pledge

"I commit to the global goal of an inclusive sport, fitness, and physical activity sector that fully includes all adults and children regardless of ability or disability, age, health status, race, gender, orientation, ethnicity, or any other identity or status.

I will work with industry peers and disability stakeholders, seeking opportunities to innovate and adapt practices, so that together, we further the participation and employment of all people in exercise and sport.”

So, what are you waiting for? Sign the pledge below!

The movement is happening now, and leaders in the fitness sector are already on board. We need you to join them.

Get active pledge girl

What Happens After You Take the Pledge?

After signing the pledge, we’ll send you introductory resources to help accomplish the goals outlined in the pledge.

These resources include information on Universal Fitness Innovation & Transformation (UFIT), launched by IHRSA and the UNESCO Chair in Inclusive Fitness, Sport & Recreation, PE, with partners across the globe in 2015.

UFIT is a global social change movement that helps health clubs build their capacity to welcome people of all abilities into the club. The UNESCO Chair, IHRSA and the IHRSA Foundation supported by our Partners provide training, support, and resources to help clubs change their culture to one of accessibility and inclusivity.

UFIT provides a pathway designed to help clubs move toward greater inclusion.

Step 1 on that pathway is signing the Get Active for All Pledge.

Step 2: Becoming a UFIT Supporter

Clubs who are ready to commit to advancing inclusion in their fitness facilities and the industry as a whole sign on as UFIT Supporters, joining the UFIT movement and advocating for inclusion in the sport and fitness sector.

Step 3: Becoming UFIT Recognized

Clubs who have started implementing some inclusive practices can become UFIT Recognized. Recognized clubs receive a UFIT Recognized certificate and access to a wide range of resources, including UFIT Explorer, which provides guidance and insight on an extensive range of disability types, thus enabling staff across a club to better cater to people's needs and design and implement programs. Learn more.

Step 4: Becoming a UFIT Champion

When clubs are ready to see how they can do more, there is the UFIT Champion process supported by the IHRSA Foundation’s ACCESS Health: Inclusive Fitness initiative.
Becoming a UFIT Champion is a comprehensive, immersive process to optimize inclusion in the club. Learn more.

Step 5: Becoming a UFIT Ambassador

Finally, after becoming a UFIT Champion and leading the way on inclusivity, clubs can become UFIT Ambassadors. Ambassadors promote UFIT with peers and media when opportunities arise.