Selection purchase and maintenance of equipment

Equipment Selection

Decisions on the type of exercise equipment should take account of the following qualities:

• calibration requirements;

• space and safety issues including storage;

• user friendliness;

• purchase and maintenance costs;

• warranties, equipment support and servicing.

The venue dimensions, location of entry and emergency exits, associated 'people traffic flow' and siting of electrical outlets (if required) may all determine the amount, type and choice of equipment or circuit design. CR exercise leaders should also consider the necessity and effectiveness of a piece of equipment to fulfil the exercise objective and assess its suitability for the proposed patient group.

Safety Considerations

The safety of exercise equipment should be evaluated in terms of its design, ergonomics, biomechanics and electrical circuitry. There should also be a space allocation of 6sqft (0.6 m2) for each individual using equipment. Instructions for use and safety should be clearly visible on equipment. Design of seats and supports should accommodate various body types and sizes, with weight restrictions as appropriate. Apparatus must be constructed to maintain joint movement within normal range, and emergency cut-off switches must be easily accessible (e.g. treadmill).With electrical equipment, all cables and plugs must be secured, covered and sited so that patient traffic is not compromised around equipment.

Equipment Maintenance

A maintenance programme is important in extending the life of equipment, providing regular safety checks and ensuring the validity and calibration of outcome measures.

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