Can a Playground Promote Fitness for Children and Adults?
According to a study conducted by the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, less than 5% of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day and only one in three adults receive the recommended amount of physical activity each week. This is why over the past five years, there has been a drastic increase in health and body initiatives by the government in an attempt to encourage more activity by adults. Luckily, in addition to the health campaigns that have have been outlining the damaging affects of minimal exercise, others have also become invested in making people healthier. Recently that has included playground developers.
When you think of a playground you think of a happy, carefree environment for children. You can image the children laughing, running, and playing among their peers as the climb up ladders and tumble down slides. While most people will continue to be under the impression that playgrounds are just for use by children, lately a playground has proved to be opportunistic for children and adults alike.
While some equipment should remain exclusively for children of the park, if you're looking to offer visitors a chance to workout while watching their child play on the jungle gym, all that's needed to complete a workout is a set of monkey bars, a bench, and swings. With this equipment they can perform core-strengthening possibilities, resistance training and muscle strengthening activities.
While traditional playground equipment offers plenty of workout potential, some cities have even experimented with creating multi generational parks that feature both a play space for children and some additional gym equipment for adults. This fusion design gives park-goers an assortment of activities to choose from and provides a manageable solution to keeping the whole family entertained while staying active.
Working out in a proximity too close to a playground may not be desirable for some which is why some park planners have decided to make their playground and outdoor "gym" designs separate. By separating the two designs it allows adults that don't have children to still get the benefit of working out while outside and allows parents to still monitor their children while on the equipment. As seen above, the exercise area for adults still includes a playground in the distance so that some adults can monitor their children and those without children don't feel like they are infringing on the place.
As the interest in healthier living escalates, you can expect to see more multi-generational fusion playgrounds or outdoor gyms in your area. The question is whether gyms are becoming playgrounds or are playgrounds becoming gyms?
cover photo: © Greenfields Outdoor Fitness