The Potential of Safe, Secure and Accessible Playgrounds to Increase Children’s Physical Activity

The United States is confronting an endemic of youth weight problems. During the
beyond four decades, the weight problems price for kids a while 6 to eleven has more than
quadrupled, and it has greater than tripled among a long time 12 to 19.1, 2 Currently,
extra than 23 million younger human beings are obese or overweight.Three, four
There isn’t any unmarried cause underlying this epidemic, and addressing it’s going to require
a wide spectrum of techniques to reduce calorie intake and boom
physical interest. The blessings of bodily pastime for kids encompass decreased
chance of weight problems and diabetes, improved bone health, better shallowness and, at
least within the quick term, stepped forward instructional overall performance.5, 6, 7 The federal
government recommends that each baby and adolescent be physically energetic
for as a minimum one hour daily.8
To help young humans meet this guiding principle, more than one
possibilities for hobby have to be supplied.Nine Research Brief web page 2
A country wide application of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with direction and technical assistance furnished with the aid of San Diego State University. Activelivingresearch.Org
Along with neighborhood sidewalks and motorcycle paths, secure routes to and from college, and physical
education and recess in school, playgrounds play an important function in supporting physical pastime
for more youthful kids.10 Playgrounds are one of the few locations specifically supposed for use by means of
youngsters, so studies which could help enhance their design need to have direct results on youngsters’s
physical interest. Proximity, safety (which include both the presence or absence of crime and the
potential for injuries), climate and time of day all have an impact on how parks and playgrounds are used,
and even though the literature on in which youngsters play is restricted, a observe of Australian kids a while 8
to 12 determined that 17 percentage of playtime took place in parks and playgrounds.Eleven
This short summarizes research on playgrounds and how playgrounds effect physical pastime
amongst kids. For the functions of this quick, a playground is defined as a small, publicly
owned, outside place that features play system and presents recreational bodily activity
for more youthful youngsters.
Fig ure 1. Playgrounds are a few of the locations where children are the maximum bodily active12
n Parent file for kids
n Parent report for youth
n Adolescent self-record
Percent of adolescents regularly active at websites Indoor recreation facility
Other play discipline or court docket
Swimming pool
Basketball court
Walking/jogging track
School activity centers
Small public park
Large public park
Public playground
Bike/hike/stroll trail
Public open space Research Brief web page three
A national software of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, with course and technical assistance supplied by means of San Diego State University. Activelivingresearch.Org
Proximity, Access, Security and
Use of Playgrounds
Locating and designing playgrounds so they’re easy to get right of entry to and secure to use
can make certain that they make contributions optimally to kids’s bodily hobby.
N A observe of youngsters and teenagers in San Diego, Boston and Cincinnati determined that
neighborhoods that have been typically supportive of bodily pastime for young humans also seemed
to have more playgrounds. Researchers examined the relationship among positive community
traits and the number of playgrounds in that community and determined that neighborhoods
with higher street connectivity, lower visitors, much less crime and higher aesthetics were much more likely to
have at least five playgrounds than had been neighborhoods without such traits.Thirteen Street
connectivity became 13.Five percent higher in neighborhoods with at the least 5 playgrounds, traffic became
7 percentage lower, crime become nine.6 percentage decrease and the aesthetics had been 15 percent higher.
N A have a look at in Waterloo, Ontario observed that youngsters who had a playground less than -thirds
of a mile from their residence have been five instances more likely to have a wholesome weight than youngsters who
did not. However, this look at did now not manipulate for profits or other elements that would have influenced
the final results.14
n There are socioeconomic and racial/ethnic disparities in get entry to to bodily hobby centers
consisting of gyms, health golf equipment and YMCAs. One national examine located that regions with lower median
earning or higher chances of human beings of color (folks that self file as Blacks, Hispanics,
Asians, and so forth.) have been less probably to have such facilities. Disparities in get right of entry to to such membershipbased centers can make get entry to to free centers including playgrounds a whole lot extra essential for
those populations.15
n There are also inequities associated with playground protection, described as both having well maintained
and designed system as well as having functions associated with security and crime. A study in
Boston discovered that playgrounds in areas with a greater proportion of Blacks and children residing in
poverty tended to be less secure than the ones in other neighborhoods.Sixteen
n Some research has shown that playgrounds can be the website of high levels of physical hobby
in diverse neighborhoods. A have a look at inspecting parks in Tampa, Fla., and Chicago found that
playgrounds supported excessive levels of bodily interest in minority neighborhoods in each cities.
In Tampa, youngsters at playgrounds in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods had been the maximum
active of youngsters at any playground, while in Chicago, playgrounds in African-American
neighborhoods had the best degrees of active use.17
n There is an unmet call for for safe playgrounds in internal towns. When a schoolyard in New
Orleans remained open and supervised after school and on weekends, the wide variety of children
who had been outdoor and lively inside the intervention community and schoolyard became eighty four percentage
higher than in a assessment neighborhood with an older playground that did not have ongoing
adult supervision. Children within the intervention community additionally pronounced decreased time spent
watching tv or gambling video video games relative to children in the evaluation network.18

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