When I was a child, an afternoon trip was often ‘going to the swings’. It entailed being pushed back and forth on swings, plunging down a slide and hurtling at dizzying speed on a roundabout. But that was about it…
Today a family outing to the park is a far more sophisticated and comprehensive experience.
It can even help solve the issue of family fitness…
In a world that increasingly sees children deriving their entertainment from phones, tablets, computers and TV screens whilst remaining fundamentally static for hours on end, the innocent and energetic fun of a playground takes on even greater significance.
But it’s not just confined to the children. Adults too are increasingly sedentary, suffering record levels of obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Yet, like children, adults never really grow up when it comes to playgrounds. And it is these two factors that are seeing a new trend that we are helping to drive.
As specialist designers and manufacturers of bespoke playgrounds, we have found an increasing interest in and requirement for designs that are not only fun for kids, but incorporate elements that keep the whole family active too.
Family fitness at the playground is becoming increasingly popular and this can only be a good thing.
Keeping Families Active Together
Health advisors are doing their best to halt obesity problems and increase fitness in children as well as in adults, so making fitness fun for everyone has to be a no-brainer.
The horrifying statistic that nearly a third of children are overweight seems like a public health timebomb. Despite the cuts the public sector is becoming increasingly aware that action is needed now.
New ways to entice kids and parents to get outdoors and active are needed. In fact they are vital.
So whilst junior is monkeying about on the lower reaches of a climbing frame, Mum and Dad can be doing their own thing, working out on the monkey bars, doing sit-ups on a specially designed bench or enjoying a good trampette bounce!
The opportunity for combining both fitness and play in the same area at the same time has obvious advantages.
It also solves ‘lack of time’ issues which are so often cited as a reason to exercise enough. Combining looking after and entertaining the children with working out kills a few birds with a single stone!
The potential for improving the health of the general public using public green space is immense and not yet fully realised.
At PlayEquip we have found that the sale of equipment, initially designed for kids, is now being used for adults just as much. And this particularly applies to playground equipment such as submerged trampolines and monkey bars. As a result, these items and apparatus are being looked at in a whole new way.
Future thinking councils are getting wiser to the benefits of providing more public fitness facilities.
Swimming pools and sports pitches are expensive to maintain, take up a large area and generally don’t earn enough from the space they require – according to the strict money makers/number crunchers. And this is a particular issue with today’s squeezed budgets.
Authorities are now purchasing a lot more outdoor gym equipment for their residents. These are comparatively inexpensive, space efficient products of low maintenance that can have a big impact.
People who run in the park can now include callisthenic exercises to improve both muscular and aerobic conditioning.
‘Gym’ Equipment Free To Use For All
Passers-by often feel inspired to just have a go and what better way to get them started exercising more regularly?
These are free to use and readily available to everyone, not just private gym members. A quick trip to the local park to enjoy the fresh air instead of a costly air-conditioned room is way more appealing to the masses.
We have also noticed that domestic customers are also requesting designs that combined play and fitness equipment for their back gardens too. As a result, we’re now supplying play/fitness frames that entertain the whole family. Makes total sense right?
I for one am surprised that this hasn’t been done before.
That small space in the corner of your garden can become and fun and truly effective fitness and conditioning facility. A quick set of pull-up and dips while the dinner is on and great healthy fun for the kids to be active outside too.
You’d probably find you have way more time for fitness like that. The only problem would be sorting out who goes first after you’ve bought a ‘climbing frame for the kids’…
Family fitness is key to immediate health now, but also to ingraining good habits and passing them on to future generations. And what better place to start this legacy than a playground?
Article by Tom Hickman of PlayEquip