In the not-so-distant past, children were much more active than they are today. Without the distraction of high-tech gadgets and video games, kids were much more likely to run and play outside with their friends. As a result, childhood obesity was far less common, and children were healthier overall before high-tech devices become so prevalent.
These days, however, things are quite a bit different. Most children spend a lot of their time indoors watching TV, playing video games, or playing on their cell phones or other electronic gadgets. As a result, they are not getting nearly as much exercise as they used to. Being sedentary most of the time can negatively impact the health of a child and can put them at higher risk of becoming obese.
One of the easiest ways to help prevent this problem is by installing children’s playground equipment. The health benefits associated with playground equipment come primarily from the fact that it helps get children up and moving. By installing fun and engaging equipment that kids will want to play on, you can encourage better physical fitness.
“Although any playground equipment is better than no playground equipment, there are certain structures and play systems available that promote even more physical activity.” comments Denise Woods of Suttle Recreation. “For instance, rather than only providing stairs for kids to climb, there may also be a rope hanging down that they need to use to climb to get to a platform. These forces children to develop their upper body strength as well as their lower body strength.” Suttle Recreation offers a number of options for playground equipment for schools and parks. View their full selection at http://suttlerecreation.com/products/playground-equipment/.
Some systems even promote mental development along with encouraging physical development. They may have challenges that kids need to solve such as figuring out how to get into a particular part of the play structure. These types of challenges can help kids develop problem-solving abilities as they play, supporting their mental health as well as their physical health.
Scattering multiple pieces of equipment throughout the play area can also be beneficial since children will run from one area of the park or playground to another, helping to improve their cardiovascular health. Running, jumping, climbing, and hanging from bars or jungle gyms can work nearly every part of the body, providing a complete physical workout for kids as they play. The best part is that children don’t even know that they are exercising. Instead, from their perspective, they are just out having fun with their friends.
Ideally, if you are hoping to maximize the health benefits of children’s playground equipment, you should install a variety of different types of equipment including climbing equipment, overhead equipment, and swinging equipment. A variety of equipment helps promote full-body physical fitness by getting every muscle group involved in the action. Additionally, you should space the playground equipment out over a relatively large area so that kids have to run from one area to another if they want to try out a different piece of equipment. This additional bit of running can boost cardiovascular health.
The key is to make the playground as fun and entertaining as possible for children. It needs to be fun enough to entice them to play so that they get up and get moving. Bright colors and unique or unusual equipment can help draw children in and get them excited about playing.
Don’t forget to provide areas for parents or adults to supervise their children as well. Although benches are a good option, you can also install exercise equipment that parents can use while they wait for their children which encourage both parents and children alike to get in shape and improve their overall fitness level during a visit to the park.