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Operators 'increasingly investing' in obese-friendly equipment

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Workplace equipment supplier Slingsby has launched a range of bariatric products in response to rising demand from organisations across all industries - including leisure and sport - to modify their premises in order cope with UK's obesity crisis.

NHS figures reveal more than a quarter of the UK's adult population are clinically obese and research from this year's European Congress on Obesity predicts that nearly half of all British men and more than a third of all women will be obese by 2040.

Slingsby, which supplies more than 35,000 workplace products, recognised a gap in the market for businesses, such as hotels and leisure related venues that can accommodate larger customers. As a result, the company has launched the new range to cater for this growing demand and plan to continue adding products in the coming months.

It's estimated that British theatre auditoriums have had to grow by 30% in the last 20 years in order to accommodate the same number of people as those built 100 years ago.

Common modifications include strengthening equipment, adding handrails, widening doors, installing larger toilets that are floor-mounted and offering sturdier seating.

Slingsby claims that, whilst most of these specialist products are slightly bigger than usual, the changes are often very subtle, which helps visitors to feel comfortable.

Lee Wright, marketing director at Slingsby said it is a key concern during construction of the new Wembley Stadium which now has seats that are 9cm wider and 16cm deeper than the old Wembley.

"Wider aisles between each row of seats were also incorporated which means every seat now offers more leg room than the Royal Box at the old stadium according to Wembley's website."

"In America, obesity now dictates a lot of the built environment with buildings being designed to be larger and wider seats being used everywhere from sports stadiums through to bus stops and this is a trend that's already gathering pace in the UK."

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Workplace equipment supplier Slingsby is one of many product companies to have recently launched a range of bariatric products in response to rising demand from organisations across all industries - including leisure and sport - to modify their premises in order cope with UK's obesity crisis.
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