Free outdoor gym opens on Hull's Orchard Park estate
RISING obesity levels could soon be a thing of the past in Orchard Park, thanks to a free outdoor gym.
Work began in February to create the UK's first Eco Wellness Zone in Shaw Park.
It will be officially opened to residents on Wednesday.
The gym will be powered entirely by human movement, cutting energy costs and enabling people to exercise around the clock.
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Orchard Park councillor Terry Geraghty said: "There really will be no excuse not to exercise."
The Eco Wellness Zone will include a hand bike, cycle bike, cross-trainer and energy counter.
Users will be given a wealth of useful information needed they can make lifestyle changes.
A so-called "bod pod", or self-diagnosis booth, will tell users how much they weigh, their height, their body mass index as well as give guidelines on physical activities.
It will also give workout instructions and local health information, such as details of GPs.
Mr Geraghty, who is also Hull City Council's portfolio holder for leisure and culture, said: "I believe everyone should have access to sport and leisure facilities, regardless of their income.
"This will be a free facility and can be used by anyone."
Mr Geraghty said he believes it is important people have a choice about when they exercise.
"The gym will be lit up at night, at no cost to the council, because it will be powered by human movement," he said. This will mean people can come along and exercise after work.
"It really is a state- of-the-art facility."
Mitch Upfold, the council's regeneration programme manager, said the gym could help tackle obesity.
He said: "This free facility will make a significant difference to people's health.
"Looking at other outdoor gyms across the city, I would expect around 30 people a day to use this facility."
Mr Upfold said he expects a wide range of people to use the gym at Shaw Park.
He said: "A dog walker may wish to let their pet off the lead for five minutes while they have a quick workout.
"Sports teams may wish to use some of the machines to warm up before a training session."
Residents are invited to attend the official opening of the gym at 2pm on Wednesday.
Do you have a story from Orchard Park / north Hull? If so, call reporter Kevin Shoesmith on 01482 315266.