Children today have a need to get exercise, get fresh air, and meet and play with other kids their age, and while this can happen during recess at elementary school, another great way for kids to get outside and have a good time is at a park’s playground. A playground will have all kinds of structures and features that kids will enjoy, ranging from commercial playground swings to a bike rack (for kids who ride bikes at the park) to a basketball court system and even a handicap swing for less able-bodied children (inclusive playgrounds may be more popular and earn the approval of many parents). There are many concerned parents who agree that today, kids are not getting enough exercise, but commercial playground swings and more can help kids get in shape, meet other kids their age, and give the parents some peace and quiet. What are some other health benefits for kids who visit the park, and how can city managers and construction crews build the right setup with commercial playground swings and more?
Kids and a Workout
All human beings need exercise, and unlike more sedentary apes like chimpanzees and gorillas, the human race is naturally designed to move. Today, however, that natural quota for exercise often goes unmet among American adults and children, and this contributes to current rates of overweight or obese children and adults like. For kids in particular, there are some statistics to show much exercise they are getting, or not. In the current age, just under one in three children is meeting the Sports and Fitness Industry Association’s classification of an “active to a healthy level” of exercise. What is this level of exercise? Nothing particularly strenuous; just 25 minutes of high-calorie-burning activity three times a week, but even this token quota is often not met. Why not? Many children are spending more time using electronic screens such as handheld game devices or PCs or even TV, and this sedentary behavior is time not spent on exertion that keeps kids fit and healthy, and many parents are concerned about this. Time spent on the PC is also time not spent socializing with other kids or getting fresh air.
There are other adverse health issues to sedentary behavior aside from rates of obesity. Children need physical play and exercise for their development of the mind and body alike, and research confirms this. Physical play stimulates brain development in kids under the age of 18, and studies consistently show that to be healthy, kids must have many opportunities to practice gross motor skills. If kids do not have enough exercise time, they may even suffer limited brain power later in life, and that’s not something that any parent would want for their child. Exercise, however, can not only boost a child’s brain development but also their hand-eye coordination, balance, and reflexes, not to mention develop muscles and bone strength. This can be especially helpful if the child is going to play sports when they are older or get into physically demanding jobs later in life. Where does playground equipment fit into all this?
At the Park
A public park is an excellent investment for many locales, and it is a place where kid and adults alike can take a break from hectic modern life for a walk, a picnic, taking the dogs outside, and of course, a place for kids to play with their peers. A good park will be litter-free and have many features such as trees, pathways for jogging or bicycles, and of course, hardware for kids. A set of commercial playground swings can be both great fun and exercise for them, and specialized swings can be provided for toddlers or physically handicapped kids. Other features such as a slide (which requires climbing a ladder to the top), monkey bars, small rock climbing surfaces, and a rack for bicycles can be found. this playground equipment may also involve landscaping, such as bark dust mulch, or gravel or rubbery, soft tarmac that makes for softer grounds for kids to play on in case they fall over. Parks can even have visual themes, such as Wild West or cartoony astronauts and space aliens to appeal to kids.