Childhood obesity has become a major issue within the last 20 years due to the surging amounts of obesity prevalent among young children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 17% of children and adolescents are obese. Since the 1980s, the numbers have almost tripled.
A number of factors in today’s society contribute to the increase in childhood obesity including poor diet and lack of physical activity. Although there is not one simple solution, there are things we can do to help, and allowing our children to play is one of them.
Children need at least 1 hour of physical activity each day, and playgrounds are great way for children to get exercise. Playground equipment offers fun and physically challenging features. Many playgrounds even offer outdoor fitness equipment that serve a wide range of age groups, even adults.
The physical challenges of a playground are diverse, ranging from balance and strength to more complex challenges such as flexibility and endurance. Climbers, swings, ladders and slides all have the ability to work a strategic set of muscles in the body.
Simply put, a playground keeps children moving, an important aspect in their overall health and wellness. Combine consistent play with a healthy diet, and we can help fight the childhood obesity epidemic and make the next generation of children healthier than the last.