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
Asheville

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4 thoughts on “Facilitate fitness at the Pack Library

  1. who

    Do the doors automatically open for the handicapped? That’s the question.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. 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”.

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