Adult playgrounds are not filled with slides and swings for grown-ups to have fun in, but are actually recreational spaces featuring equipment chin-up bars and racks for sit-ups etc that allow adults to exercise. This blog explains why PlaySmart believes councils should be embracing this idea to fight the obesity epidemic by providing easily-accessible environments to inspire parents to work on their own physical fitness.
These playgrounds are essentially outdoor gyms that are free to use, all be it if you have a child in some areas. The outside gym concept actually came from the Chinese government, who had the brainwave to install outdoor gym equipment in parks and recreational spaces across the country. This fantastic idea has since been taken on across the world, with America jumping in on the craze with a vengeance a couple of years ago. New York City announcing back in 2012 they they were looking to improve the fitness of their local residents by introducing 25 adult playgrounds across the city’s five boroughs.
But what about in the UK? The London borough of Camden is currently the leader for adult playgrounds in Britain, with 9 outdoor gyms at the disposal of local residents. An article by the BBC, again in 2012, featured the council citing research that claimed that 26% of those who were actively using their outdoor gyms were people without gym memberships and had previously made very little attempt to exercise in the past. So are adult playgrounds the key for controlling the obesity epidemic in the UK? One thing is for sure, the benefits definitely outweigh the negatives.
PlaySmart are passionately in favour of adult playgrounds/outdoor gyms due to the positive effects that they have on our local communities. Aside from the fact that they actively encourage exercise to adults, the facilities themselves are cheap to install, produce absolutely no noise, are free to use, and are largely unobtrusive to the outside world. Furthermore, Adult playgrounds adjoined to traditional playgrounds inspire parents to get more exercise themselves, which in turn demonstrates to children the importance of exercise as an adult.
We highly recommend encouraging your local council to installing an adult playground in your local region. It certainly beats splashing out on a gym membership!