Is there a link between playgrounds and obesity among children? Do playgrounds help fight obesity among young children? There is mounting evidence to suggest this is the case. The CDC has followed initiatives regarding obesity deterrents and playground renovations, concluding that playgrounds can help children avoid obesity.
How Playgrounds Fight Childhood Obesity
The link between fighting childhood obesity and access to parks and playgrounds is more complex than it may seem at first. Studies have suggested that playgrounds can help children stay at healthy weights, and this can happen in a few ways:
• Playgrounds encourage social skills. Building social skills and making friends is important for childhood development. Children who have friends to spend time with may feel less lonely and may be less likely to use eating as a distraction. When children make friends with kids who eat well and are active, they may learn to adopt the behaviors of their peers, which can help prevent obesity.
• Playgrounds encourage physical activity. Playgrounds offer many ways for children to stay active, and play spaces help children engage in many different activity types. Climbers, slides, swings and other pieces of equipment engage different muscle groups, allowing children to get a full-body workout.
• Playgrounds make exercise fun. To encourage children to exercise, it is important for activities to be interesting. Companies such as Miracle Recreation create innovative and thrilling play equipment that spark imagination and build competitive spirit. With a wide range of play equipment, kids have lots of ways to get fit, whether they prefer play with friends or solo activities. When children are really engaged in play, they may not even notice they are taking part in “fitness.”
• Playspaces combat sedentary and less healthy activities. When children don’t have access to playground equipment, they may be more likely to watch TV or sit in front of other screens. Not only does this make for a sedentary lifestyle without much healthy activity, but studies show that sedentary activities such as watching shows often go hand-in-hand with overeating. When children are on the playground and playing for hours, they need to take breaks to hydrate and snack, but overeating is harder. Their snack breaks are limited, especially if they want to get back to playing.
Building Playgrounds That Get Kids Moving
Not all playgrounds are the same. For a playground to have an impact on safety, it has to be accessible, so children can get to it. It also has to be thrilling, so children want to spend plenty of time playing and on the move. That’s where Miracle Recreation can help. We create stunning playgrounds for communities, parks, schools and more. Our play equipment is designed to be unique, innovative and exciting, so kids can’t wait to try it out. It’s also quality-made, so it’s an investment in future generations, too. Contact your nearest Miracle Recreation sales rep to find out how we can help you get kids excited about fitness and staying healthy.