How Parks Contribute to Healthy Communities
When it comes to health and fitness, the United States of America trails behind all industrial nations. In fact, a recent article by The New York Times “The Kids Are (Not) All Right” reported that children in the United States had ranked an alarming 26th place (out of 29 countries evaluated by Unicef) in health. The only countries that ranked lower in the study were Lithuania, Latvia and Romania.
The statistics were so alarming that the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity was formed, which was a project launched by First Lady, Michelle Obama. A report in 2011 by the Domestic Policy Council to the President resulted in a new “Let’s Move” program aimed at educating adults and children about the importance of nutrition and physical fitness for health and wellness.
But it is not just the children who are demonstrating an alarming lack of physical fitness. Adults in the United States of America are demonstrating increased health risks associated with obesity, including heart disease, heart attack and stroke, as well as bariatric related diseases such as Type II Diabetes.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a report in 2012 which concluded:
- Approximately 40 million people in the U.S.A. were limited in their usual activities of daily living due to one or more chronic health conditions
- Approximately 5 million people required the assistance of another person for activities of daily living
- Approximately 10 million people required extensive assistance with activities of daily living
The conveniences of living in an industrialized country are not helping the average American child or adult maintain adequate levels of physical fitness. To address the absence of physical activity, many communities are conducting a revitalization of their public parks with an investment in commercial playground and fitness equipment.
How Parks Can Help
When planning your commercial playground or community park, consider adding elements that encourage play, amateur athletics as well as independent physical activity. Residential communities and municipalities can augment their existing playground equipment with commercial grade fitness structures for teens and adults.
You can upgrade your playground to appeal to the fitness needs of not only children, but parents, adults and seniors and create community awareness about the importance of physical fitness. Make your park a destination for healthy outdoor activity for families.
Learn more about our new fitness structures, and contact us for advice on incorporating these important elements into your commercial playground. Our customer service representatives can be reached at 1-888-401-6446, and are eager to help you encourage healthy lifestyles in your community.