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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 August 2006, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Gym installed at public library
Liverpool's Central Library
The gym scheme could be extended to other public libraries
Readers in Liverpool will soon have a novel way of getting regular exercise.

The city council is installing gym equipment in its main library in what it claims is the first scheme of its kind in the UK.

Squat machines and shoulder presses will sit alongside the computer terminals at the city's central library in William Brown Street.

The council says it wants to make it easier for people to build exercise into their daily routine.

If the initial set-up is successful, equipment will be put into more of the city's libraries.

Liverpool City Council leader Warren Bradley said: "Thousands of Liverpool people will soon be turning over a new leaf when it comes to their health.

The equipment will be discreetly placed, so as not to interfere with the day-to-day running of the library
Mark Jones
Fitness manager

"This is all about breaking down barriers to health and fitness and trying to place exercise at the heart of people's lives.

"It's a brilliant way for people to get fit - from professionals to school children, and from students to senior citizens."

It is hoped that the location of the equipment will encourage people queuing to use the internet terminals to work out while they wait.

The initial set-up includes mostly resistance and weight equipment, but more machines such as treadmills and steppers may be added.

Mark Jones, fitness manager at Liverpool City Council, said: "The gym equipment will be discreetly placed so as not to interfere with the day-to-day running of the library and special clothing will not be required.

"Library users can do as much or as little as they want - if people only want to do a five-minute session, they can do just that."

Instructors will be on hand to supervise workouts when the equipment is operational at the beginning of next month.

Revamped library to have 1m books
09 Feb 06 |  Merseyside

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