Improving accessibility for people with Parkinson’s disease

Mountbatten Leisure Centre in Portsmouth is one of the first leisure centres in the city to install floor markings (known as cue markers) – helping local people, living with Parkinson’s disease and Parkinsonism, to be more active.

The markers, placed around the centre’s foyer, gym and café, provide a visual cue to aid walking. This helps with distance, space and gait, bypassing the damaged neural pathways, caused by Parkinson’s.

Watch the cue markers in action at Mountbatten Leisure Centre.

Effective and low-cost, cue markers can help to improve safety and reduce fall risk – helping people with Parkinson’s to retain mobility and independence for longer. They have proven high efficacy rates and, for some people, using cue markers can also reduce reliance on mobility aids.

Local support group for Parkinson’s UK (Portsmouth Working Age Support Group) runs weekly social sessions in the Terrace café at Mountbatten Leisure Centre. Residents with Parkinson’s use the gym facilities, whilst their support network, which is often family or friends, get to spend the morning with others who are going through a similar experience.

BH Live, the centre’s charitable operator and Portsmouth Working Age Support Group have jointly funded the installation of the cue markers.

Rob Cunningham, BH Live’s head of leisure added:

“We are grateful to Portsmouth Working Age Support Group who highlighted the great benefits this low-cost installation would have for our customers. We are already hearing some great feedback are pleased it is helping people to be more confident when visit their local leisure centre.”

Cllr Steve Pitt, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development at Portsmouth City Council, said,

I am delighted that the Mountbatten Centre have taken this important step in making their facilities more accessible – a simple measure that helps to open up physical activity to those who can really benefit from it. We want all residents to have the opportunity to get active and to feel comfortable in doing so.”

On behalf of Portsmouth Working Age Support Group, manager Sallyann Sines added,

“I cannot thank Strolll enough for coming up with a simple tool to help people with Parkinson’s. I would like to thank BH Live for all the support they give to our group.”

The cue markers were created and installed by Strolll.

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors:

About Cue Markers – information provided by Strolll

Cueing is defined as temporal or spatial stimuli, which facilitates repetitive movement usually provided as visual, auditory rhythmic signals or tactile (touch). In simple terms, cueing can be achieved by placing lines on the floor to guide a person on where to place their foot with each step (visual), playing a metronome beat which a person can synchronise their step pattern to the beat of (audio) or through vibration/touch which can act as a prompt for movement (tactile).

It’s often observed that people with Parkinson’s find it easier to climb stairs or step over lines naturally occurring on paved walkways and footpaths, this in fact is an example of visual cues in action.

In Parkinson’s Disease, the part of our brain that controls automatic movements like walking is often impaired due to the automaticity deficit resulting from the basal ganglia dysfunction caused by the disease. Fortunately, the human brain is diverse and through the use of sensory cues, often people with Parkinson’s Disease can activate different neural pathways and areas of the brain that can also control movement but are not damaged or degenerating because of the underlying condition; effectively enabling a person with Parkinson’s to by-pass/detour the disease and re-route the brain to engage a goal-oriented or other mode of motor control to alleviate key motor symptoms such as freezing of gait (FoG).

Key Features:  

  • Certified Class1 Medical device.
  • Cue markers /Strolll are BHTA (British Healthcare Trade Association) approved
  • The only adhesive floor tape designed specifically for visual cueing in Parkinson’s disease.
  • Bevelled edges reduce the risk of trips or falls.
  • Strong adhesive and durable material that will not rip, tear or lift when walking on. PVC top means you can continue to vacuum, mop and clean easily.
  • Easy to install and remove with patented adhesive backing.
  • Quick, easy solution for improving mobility at home and other environments.
  • Reduces reliance on physical mobility aids.
  • Proven high efficacy rates for Parkinson’s Disease and Parkinsonism.
  • Can be installed in commercial buildings, such as cafes, supermarkets, hospitals, and physio clinics to provide safer, more accessible buildings for the Parkinson’s community.

Scientific Evidence

Cue Markers are an evidence-based solution to assist gait and reduce or overcome freezing of gait in patients with Parkinson’s.  Transverse lines placed on the floor (like Cue Markers) have been known for decades as an effective means to assist gait and reduce or overcome freezing of gait.  Their effect was first reported by James Purdon Martin (1967) more than half a century ago, and supported by many others (e.g. Dietz et al 1990, Morris et al. 1994a, 1994b, Forssberg et al. 1984, Azulay et al. 1996).

The recurring finding is that walking over parallel lines marked on a floor could reduce the occurrence of freezing of gait and improve several other gait aspects.

For more information about BH Live please contact:

Elizabeth Symmons, PR, Communications and Marketing Manager E: press.office@bhlive.org.uk T: (01202) 055562

About BH Live

BH Live is a leading operator of leisure and event venues; a social enterprise that designs and builds engaging experiences to inspire people and enrich lives.

For more visit bhlive.org.uk.

Get social with us: LinkedIn, Twitter @BHLIVE_UK and Facebook @SocialEnterpriseBHLive

BH Live operates the following venues in partnership with Portsmouth City Council:

Mountbatten Leisure Centre – Portsmouth’s flagship leisure and event venue with swimming pools, a 150 station gym, eight-court sports hall, squash, spin and dance studios, a cycle velodrome, athletics track, function suites with bars, a café and soft play facility.

It is also home to a Clip ‘N Climb leisure attraction which opened in 2018.

For more visit bhliveactive.org.uk.

Get social with us: Twitter and Facebook @mountbattenlc

Pyramids Centre – one of Portsmouth’s leading leisure venues overlooking Southsea beach and the Solent. It has state-of-the-art Technogym fitness equipment in a spacious gym with functional fitness, strength and cardio zones. There is a dedicated area for health assessments and people who are new to exercise, plus fitness tracking technology to help support people in reaching their activity goals.

Four activity studios provide a variety of daily exercise classes including Group Cycling, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), Yoga, Pilates and the Les Mills programme.

The centre is also home to Exploria, a themed play and bounce attraction which opened in 2021. A range of exciting experiences stimulate play and challenge children agreed from 6 months upwards. A bounce zone includes a diving tower with air bag, interactive games, themed slides agility parkour, battle beams and foam pits. The play zone includes ball pits, spider’s web and cargo climbing features, a rope bridge skywalk, bash bags, tunnels, rollers, beams and dodge ball shoot out. And the baby and toddler zone has all things Exploria, but downsized for little ones. There is also a range of interactive games, a dedicated sensory room, four themed Pparty rooms and a café serving snacks, light bites and drinks.

For more visit bhliveactive.org.uk and exploria.org.uk

Get social with us: Twitter @PyramidsCentre

Facebook @Pyramids.Centre

Portsmouth Gymnastics Centre – gymnastics hall with physiotherapy and meeting room.

For more visit bhliveactive.org.uk.

Get social with us: Facebook @PortsmouthGymnasticsCentre

Portsmouth Tennis Centre – Situated in the north of Portsmouth consisting of four indoor courts and six floodlit outdoor courts. A comprehensive coaching programme caters for all ages and abilities. Sessions are available for tots, juniors, adults and also includes variations of the sport such as cardio tennis and touch tennis.

For more visit bhliveactive.org.uk.

Get social with us: Twitter @PortsTennis and Facebook @PortsmouthTC

Wimbledon Park Sports Centre – sports hall with badminton and basketball courts

For more visit bhliveactive.org.uk.

Get social with us: Facebook @WimbledonParkSportsCentre

Charter Community Sports Centre – 20m swimming pool, 20 station gym, sports hall and an outdoor multi-use games area.

For more visit bhliveactive.org.uk.

Get social with us: Facebook @CharterCommunitySC