Facilitate fitness at the Pack Library

I feel for Saul Chase and the individuals who are not able to open doors on their own at the Pack Library [“Bring Back the Automatic Doors,” Dec. 1 Xpress]. I agree 100 percent that there needs to be assistance [for the disabled] to enter the library, but the automatic door is not the best option.

In an informal study of the automatic-door use at Pack Library, I personally have never seen someone who actually needed it use the automatic door! As a health educator, I would often sit there and watch as 99 percent of able-bodied people used the automatic door.

According to the N.C. Health Info website, three out of five of my friends in North Carolina are either overweight or obese. I think we could forego the automatic door to encourage more movement in North Carolinians’ everyday life. Pushing or pulling a door open isn’t going to cure obesity, but I feel we are enabling people to make unhealthy/lazy choices in their daily life. America is great; we have cars. Cars are glorified in America, but at what cost? Our health? Our weight?

My solution? A doorbell. When a person comes to the door [who] cannot physically open it (what the automatic door was intended for), they ring the doorbell. Then the security officer at the library or maybe a library attendant comes and opens the door. This would implement movement in the library employees’ day and empower people who can open doors to do so, all while meeting the needs of our citizens.

If people are moving large boxes in and out of the library, we could use a small door wedge. If it’s only one trip, then the doorbell could be utilized again. Not only would we be facilitating a little bit of fitness, but also chivalry, kindness and interaction with our fellow Ashevilleans.

— Mark Strazzer


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

About Webmaster
Mountain Xpress Webmaster Follow me @MXWebTeam

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

4 thoughts on “Facilitate fitness at the Pack Library

  1. ashevillain7

    It sure is an awfully big stretch to say that opening a door facilitates fitness! I’ve not seen a study of this but I bet it is a false hypothesis.

    On the other hand I would also bet that automatic doors (actually anything that is automatic such as toilets, faucets, etc) can help prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

    So I ask the question: Which is healthier? The “workout” provided by opening a door or reducing the chance of contracting illness?

  2. cwaster

    How about removing the ability of challenged people to open the door for themselves? Making them have to call someone is dis-empowering in my opinion. Also, it makes the jobs of those on staff at the library harder.

  3. invisiblefriend

    I feel that when I have to stop to open a door, my brisk walk is disturbed enough to lower my target heartrate because when I am on my walks I want to be consistant. The automatic doors help me out a lot with this and Im sure they do with most peoples cardio. Its kind of like joggers who have to wait at stoplights. So the auto doors actually help cardio workouts and therefore prevent heart desease in the long run. Maybe if they put one of each type of door there, so depending on what type of workout you are trying to get at that moment, you could choose.

    I guess what Im trying to say in a sarcastic way to fitness gurus is “boo fn hoo” regarding automatic doors. If you were disabled to the point that having a door open for you helped out with things, you might see how petty the fitness variable for automatic door reasoning is. If they have to wait out in the cold for an attendant who may or may not come, they everyone else should. That is only fair. Lets just have a doorbell for the library. Do you care more about the health of non handicapped people than handicapped people? Roll a wheelchair through a door and stick a wedge under it while being paralized from the neck down, or ring a toorbell with no arms and then get back to us.
    Again, “boo fn hoo”.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.