As a parent, you face numerous concerns and responsibilities daily. From your children’s clothes and food to health and well-being, you combat all problems and issues to keep your kids away from anything that harms them. But one threat that can be easily foreseen and avoided has been steadily on the rise. This threat is obesity. Although preventable, many children are affected by obesity. The risks involved with this are ample. They have a negative impact on your child over the course of their lifetime.
Fortunately for us, this can be aided and prevented easily by avoiding fast and sugary junk foods and ensuring that your children make time out. This time can be best used to engage in age-appropriate healthy physical activities like running, jumping, playing various sports, going to parks, riding bikes, skateboarding, jumping rope, games like tag, hide-and-seek or treasure hunting, etc. Keeping kids healthy is a balancing act of eating and indoor and outdoor activities. Playing outside is crucial for physical fitness as it reduces the risks of obesity and provides positive health benefits.
Read below to know how playgrounds fight childhood obesity:
Playgrounds encourage social skills
Children are social beings, and have a habit of interacting with whatever they come in contact with. From toys and books to adults and children, they treat everyone and everything as individuals. Building such social skills and making friends is an important part of childhood development. Children who spend all of their time on cell phones and video games are more likely to be depressed and lonely. This might also be the reason behind their obesity. Encouraging them to have more real-life friends to spend time and play with will make them feel less lonely. They also might be less likely to use eating as a distraction. Children learn to adopt the behaviors of their peers. If they spend time with kids who eat well and are active, it may help prevent obesity.
Playgrounds encourage physical activity
Playgrounds are physical zones. They offer many different ways for children to stay active. They provide play-spaces to help children engage in many different activities like climbing, sliding, swinging. There are different pieces of commercial playground equipment Houston to engage different muscle groups and allow kids to get a full-body workout.
Playgrounds make exercise fun
Playgrounds encourage children to exercise. It allows them to enjoy and play around while exercising instead of taking it as a task. Playgrounds make such exercising activities interesting. You will find various commercial playground equipment Houston that will spark children’s imagination and build a competitive spirit.
Play-spaces combat sedentary and less healthy activities
Children nowadays are overly involved in technology and gadgets. If they don’t have access to a playground, they would be more inclined to sit and watch TV, video games and use cell phones. Studies show that such sedentary activities often promote and encourage overeating. While on playgrounds, children are too busy playing to take snack breaks.
Playgrounds provide a healthy and safe environment for your children to play and grow. All Play Inc offers the best commercial playground equipment Houston. Build a brighter and healthier future for your children, starting with playgrounds.
Playing in childhood is traditionally associated with fun and enjoyment. Children themselves might perceive it as a mere joyful activity. However, many people are oblivious to the fact that play constitutes an important part of life for child development. There are plenty of playgrounds in Houston for the 39% of households having children. This can be a very good place of learning for children, apart from the schools.
It is by playing together that makes children learn to socialize. From forming bonds of friendship to gaining life experiences, outdoor playing is indispensable to child development. Research in this area has revealed the physical and mental benefits playing can impart to children. After reading this blog, you will be completely aware of the importance of play in a child’s development. These benefits would surely provoke you to make daily rounds to playgrounds in Houston with your kids.
Playing supports physical development
The physical activity of kids these days has taken a hit due to gadgets. There has to be a fine balance between the screen time and outdoor playing time of the child.
Sending kids to playgrounds in Houston offer the following benefits:
- Strengthens muscles and bones: Playing is a kind of exercise generating strain on body muscles. The repeated strain is the key to increasing their strength. Also, children are exposed to sunlight while playing outside, which can provide vitamin D. Thereby improving bone growth.
- Reduces obesity: About 34% of children aged 12 and over in Houston are obese, as per the health department figures. This is due to the fact that kids spend less time on playgrounds in Houston and more before computers. Playing an hour a day prevents the incidence of obesity in children.
- Improved sleep: Getting tired during play eventually contributes to undisturbed sleep. Moreover, kids wake up more refreshed if they had a good game before going to sleep.
Mental development in kids
Scientific research has shown that there is a relationship between playing outdoors and the intelligence of children.
The playgrounds in Houston can spark creativity and offer several advantages:
- Develop leadership skills: Kids often enjoy the leadership positions in the games of their choice. This is when their leadership skills sharpen. Play helps the children recognize their true talent.
- Critical thinking: The freedom to make decisions and mistakes during play does develop critical thinking. Playing allows the unlimited use of imagination which culminates into greater creativity.
- Intelligence development: The higher cognitive processing area of the brain benefits most while playing. The activity of playing for a longer duration can increase the ability to focus. It can be helpful for other long-term tasks that need focusing. Thus, playing at the playgrounds of Houston can make your child intelligent!
Apart from this, playing also nourishes the social and emotional development of children. Kids experience a range of emotions when they play, which helps them to overcome problems. As playing involves socializing with other kids, it teaches children to be patient.
To be independent and also learn collaboration. All in all, it is highly required for parents to encourage their kids to visit playgrounds in Houston.
When kids grow into adults, they miss the carefree days spent on playgrounds. The games kids play, the memories they share, and the swings they ride- all become an integral part of their childhood. Long after we stop visiting playgrounds, the bittersweet nostalgia stays with us, only to remind us of how much fun we had.
Benefits of playgrounds
Apart from the fact that going to the playground with your friends and classmates is always the best part of the day, there are scientifically proven benefits to playing in the playground. Maybe this is why more and more people are paying attention to the technicalities behind building a playground for school in Houston, TX. Here are the various ways in which playgrounds help turn kids into better versions of themselves:-
Strengthening the senses
Going to the playground every day can improve the sensory perception of your child. The sensory perception lays the foundation for behaviors and characteristic traits. Spending time at the playground also helps the kids understand how to navigate new surroundings with ease, discovering the area and adapting to it. It improves their instincts and encourages self-exploration.
Health and wellness
Each playground for school in Houston, Tx, is an integral part of the community as it helps to build health and wellness. Going to the playground for half an hour or one hour daily means your child gets the necessary exposure to natural sunlight. Kids develop neuromuscular coordination much faster in a playground.
When they climb, jump, run, grab the monkey bars, or pull a chain, they’re learning how to use their small muscles and developing essential motor skills.
Children develop better social skills when they play with their friends or make new friends in the playground. To succeed as social animals, we must learn how to adapt to ever-changing social situations and read social cues. Going to a playground and interacting with others surely helps in this situation. Not only will children develop better social skills, but they’ll also learn how to be in a team.
Even as an adult, it isn’t easy to cope with our emotions. Kids also have a wide spectrum of emotions that they need to learn to manage from an early age. Playing freely helps boost their self-confidence, morale and gives them a feeling of control or liberation. When they play games with other kids, they learn how to take a loss or a win in the same stride.
Why choose All Play, Inc.?
All Play Inc.- commercial playground company is known for putting their best foot forward, each time they help build a playground for school in Houston, TX. The team at All Play Inc is dedicated to delivering seamless services and equipment that’s reliable, secure, and fun! Most of all, the team truly believes that safety comes first.
That’s why they offer PlayArmor- an antimicrobial coating for commercial playground equipment and play systems. PlayArmor protects your kids from toxic microorganisms. Kids shouldn’t have to worry about safety when they’re making memories and to have fun. Let the team at All Play, Inc. handle it!
The best way to bring a community together is through outdoor parks and playgrounds. These spots are perfect relaxation sports for families, kids, and friends. They also play a role in reflecting the community’s identity and showing the quality of life in a given neighborhood. Often in surveys indicating a community’s liveliness, researchers have cited outdoor parks as an important factor.
Besides being chill-out zones, they are also a nice spot for socializing. You will meet people who live around the neighborhood, and you will all realize how great an amenity the park is.
Outdoor Parks and Property Values
A study by Reaction.edu sites outdoor parks as one of the top three factors businesses will consider before relocating. The existence of a park in a neighborhood will positively influence the price of a property. Furthermore, parks have a role in improving the local tax base and therefore raising property value.
Other factors besides recreational amenities that determine whether a neighborhood will improve in value include; the existence of an educated population, access to employment, and retail stores’ presence.
Sense of Unity
Some residential neighborhoods have pulled in residents from different walks of life and cultures. A park has a unique way of bringing these people together and allowing them to interact. Moreover, parks are designed to hold different programs and events which bring the community together. As a result, people will interact, share their beliefs, and forge a sense of harmony with each other. The presence of a centralized spot where people can hang out makes it easier to create unity, love, and friendship.
Hanging out in an outdoor park has an emotional restorative effect. Hitting the road for an evening jog or just strolling outdoors is good for your physical health. Additional emotional benefits such as reducing anxiety, stress, and depression are also possible after strolling around a park.
Scientists have proven outdoor walks reduce cortisol levels. A catalyst for the amount of stress one might have.
Join a sporting club community in the park and join in stress-relieving physical activity. You will realize the amount of emotional weight you’ll have eliminated.
Outdoor recreation parks play a significant role in maintaining the vibrance of a community. Usually, outdoor parks are created, including commercial playground equipment and infrastructure for both kids and families. An important factor while building a public park is considering the people that live in the neighborhood. How old are their kids, and whether their kids are already living in the area? After building the parks, they become attractive hotspots for the young community and people with kids. Hence creating a young vibrance and adding diversity to the neighborhood.
Outdoor parks and recreation playgrounds are a nice way for the community to come together. They offer families and kids a great way to experience mother nature. At All Play Does It All we provide outdoor playing equipment for playgrounds in Southeast Texas.
More play can improve a child’s IQ, creativity, problem-solving ability, and socialization. Playing ensures a child develops their sense of control and their ability to execute tasks easily. Moreover, the child will be able to absorb and practically apply knowledge.
Scientists have confirmed the inter-relationship between play, focus, social and analytical skills. Outdoor parks can stimulate outdoor activities. And this stimulation is what children need to remain active. If your kid is taking part in unstructured free play at outdoor parks and preschool playground equipment, they will have an easy time developing their social skills and tackling challenges in school. Making play a compulsory part of the school curriculum could be the secret to shaping high performing students.
Physical fitness, exercise, and movement are important factors for child development. Some schools are making the mistake of cutting back on physical education, resulting in inadequately developed children.
Several programs reinforce physical education across schools in the United States. Such programs are bent towards fulfilling the mental, social, physical, and emotional needs of children. For parents and guardians who want the best of their children, play is the number one factor when it comes to mental and physical health.
With this in place, the school will be easier. The children will have the ability to process their reading, writing, and arithmetic skills easily. Some of these games are popular for curving a child’s leadership potential. Children must have good sportsmanship and soft skills such as kindness and inclusiveness. Such skills can easily be acquired through outdoor games and coached play.
Outdoor games are also popular in helping children engage with information. This improves their ability to process information and retention. Furthermore, these games also motivate children to focus on new material after completing a prior task.
The Mind Remains Active
Teachers, instructors, and parents have to give their children ample playing opportunities. The playing activities should entail at least 1.5 hours of unstructured outdoor play. In which the children should move freely across the playground. Once subjected to such play, the children will remain awake, active, and focused throughout school hours.
Inactivity and stillness are not recommended for an active and developing brain. When a human remains still longer than 20 minutes, scientists claim their brain and body undergoes a physiological change. Gravity pulls blood into hamstrings, and as a result, deprives the brain of oxygen and sugar. Eventually, the brain falls asleep.
When one moves, they can stimulate the brain’s neurons and fire up the brain. Sitting still will only deactivate the neurons.
Kids might have different tastes and preferences when it comes to games and how to play. But all these games play an important role in the development of their emotional, physical, and mental health. At All Play Does It All we provide outdoor playground equipment in Southeast Texas.
Playgrounds provide a fun way for children to spend their time. The activities they engage in improve their physical activity. As they are having fun, they also build their social, analytical, and communication skills. Children can take part in different activities after visiting the community playground.
Such activities include swinging, climbing, sliding, ball games, and free play. Parents and teachers should have their children explore the benefits of playground equipment. Hence the children will easily develop core interaction skills, making new friends, and gaining soft skills.
Gross Motor Skills
Gross Motor Skills include the movement of large muscle parts such as legs. Activities here are climbing, Jumping, and walking. These skills help shape a child’s ability to perform exceptionally in school. To develop these skills, children sit uprightly on their desks or carry heavy book bags.
Kids outdoor playgrounds are a nice way to get started while building the physical and cognitive capacities for gross motor skills. These factors include muscle strength, tone, balance, sensory processing, coordination, and motor planning.
If your children are taking in any activity involving moving their legs, torso, or arms, they practice their gross motor skills. Have them climb stairs, pump their legs during swinging, crawl through tubes, and climbing rocks.
Fine Motor Skills
Moving and coordinating different body structures such as bones and muscles improve fine motor skills. Exercising these body parts enables children to perform given movements with maximum precision. Examples of fine motor skills include writing with a pen, picking objects, cutting shapes with scissors, and stacking stuff. These skills play an important role in how a child can eat properly or even speak clearly. They also influence a child’s academic performance by easily performing certain tasks like typing on a keyboard.
Kids need sufficient muscle strength, coordination, balance, and awareness to develop their fine motor skills. A playground would come in handy in helping children shape their muscle coordination and balance. Activities in a playground include grasping rungs of a climbing ladder, ropes, or bars.
Children require strong social skills. These skills should be ingrained in a child long during their development stages. Emotional skills include the ability to regulate feelings, resolve conflicts, and make friends. Emotional regulation involves activities such as impulse control and patience during game turns.
On the other hand, socializing and making friends ensures children develop soft skills such as empathy, kindness, and communication. Their level of cooperation will also improve, and their ability to soberly resolve problems will increase. Maturity and problem-solving skills are also results of sound social skills.
Children who spend their time at playgrounds often develop their social skills. Whether they are engaging in games such as swinging or climbing, remember they have to make friends. The interactions they forge in such outdoor activities are important in communicating and cooperating.
Have your children visit playgrounds frequently to help them work on their life skills. These are just a few of the entire developmental skills a kid is likely to gain from playing. Ensure, as an instructor or parent, that you provide these opportunities at All Play Does It All. We provide outdoor playing equipment for playgrounds in Southeast Texas.
In today’s high-tech, digital-obsessed environment, some may be tempted to write off the local neighborhood community center as an anachronism. With such an abundance of resources available online, many of us may wonder whether we really need these facilities at all.
Yet according to a recent survey by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the demand for community-center services is stronger than ever, across all generations. “While traditionally these agencies have brought a focus of fitness and fun to their local community members of all ages,” the NRPA says, “now many also include healthy living classes, computer and internet availability, and older adult transportation, just to name a few.”
According to the poll, Americans are not only supporting their local community centers — they’re demanding more “nontraditional” services that go beyond the usual after-school programs and aquatic facilities:
- 51 percent would like to see their local centers offer healthy living classes.
- 46 percent want programming for older adults.
- 45 percent want nature-based activities.
- 43 percent want access to computers and the internet.
- 41 percent want inclusive facilities for all abilities and all needs.
- 38 percent want health clinics and services.
Even more surprising is the outcome that shows Millennials supporting community center services just as strongly as — if not more so than — their Gen X and Baby Boomer counterparts. 57 percent of the Millennials surveyed want fitness facilities at their local centers, 53 percent want healthy living classes, and 50 percent want out-of-school time programming.
For more information about the results, visit the NRPA’s blog post.
We’re at the time of year that’s abuzz with activity … most of it indoors. Between shopping in crowded malls, attending functions, and baking, decorating, and wrapping at home, many families find fresh air and sunlight hard to come by during the holiday season.
But many health and wellness experts tell us that outdoor activity is just what we need this time of year. Cloudy days and colder temperatures leave us at a higher risk of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a form of depression that tends to occur during winter months, and spending time outdoors can help ease the symptoms. The holidays can also be a stressful time for parents and kids alike, and outdoor activity is a natural stress-reliever.
And of course, let’s not forget that staying active helps burn off those extra calories from Christmas cookies and eggnog!
Fortunately, here in southeast Texas, our mild winter weather (last week’s snow notwithstanding!) is outdoor-activity friendly. Here are five activities to share with families in your community to encourage more “together time” in the great outdoors this December:
- Caroling: Get a group of parents and kids together and roam the neighborhood singing holiday carols. It’s a great way to get to know other families in the community, and singing also releases feel-good hormones like oxytocin.
- Winter Family Walks: Even if it’s a little nippy outside, the whole family can still enjoy an afternoon or evening walk. Just remember to bundle up appropriately, and enjoy a round of steamy cocoa when you return.
- Take a (Nature) Hike: Head to one of our wonderful local nature centers — like the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center or Brazos Bend State Park — and learn about nature while you enjoy the fresh air.
- Picnicking: Neighborhood preschool playground equipment, community parks, and church common areas are perfect locations for family picnics, even when there’s a chill in the air. Remember to dress appropriately, and be sure to bring along a thermal container filled with your hot beverage of choice.
- Outdoor Family Games: Outdoor games like horseshoes and ring toss aren’t just for the summertime. Tote your equipment to your neighborhood park, and invite other families to join in the fun.
Happy holidays to all!
As schools face increasing pressure to pack more academic subjects into every day, recess is all too often the first casualty. To the casual observer, it’s an easy decision: “why give kids a free period to ‘just run around’ when they could be inside learning,” right? But research from the American Academy of Pediatrics tells a different story: research is a critical component of every child’s cognitive, emotional, physical, and social welfare.
Recess improves focus
In a study sponsored by Georgia State University, researchers approached a school with a no-recess policy and gained permission for two fourth-grade classes to have recess twice a week. The result? Most of children in the test group — including several with ADD — were more focused and less fidgety on recess days than on non-recess days.
Recess is good for the brain … and the body
The exposure to natural light that kids receive during recess stimulates the pineal gland. Situated near the center of the brain, the pineal gland produces melatonin, an important hormone for regulating sleep cycles and other functions in the central nervous system. Natural light is also important for absorbing Vitamin D, which helps build strong immune systems, and for developing healthy eyesight.
Recess builds social skills
When kids have free time outside of the classroom, they have the opportunity to socialize, communicate, and cooperate with their classmates in an unstructured setting. And when recess involves play on a playground, the vital skills of sharing and turn-taking become part of the experience.
Recess inspires creativity
When kids are free from the rigors of the classroom, their imaginations have space to grow and develop. The longer the recess, the more beneficial it is for creative development: Informal studies show that it takes kids about 15-20 minutes to decide what to play and who will be involved, and only then can truly imaginative play begin to happen.
So if your school administration is considering getting rid of recess, remind them of these key benefits to the development and well-being of your students. And if you’re looking to enhance the recess experience with modern, engaging, safe playground equipment, give us a call at 713-939-9888. If you can dream it, we can build it!
When many of us were kids, playtime involved riding bikes, running around playing tag, and yes, enjoying the equipment from our local playground equipment supplier. For most kids today, playtime involves sitting in front of a glowing screen, sometimes for hours at a time. Most parents would agree that spending time with technology not the best option for their kids, but research shows that it could actually be making them sick.
The good news is that there’s a solution to all these tech-related health hazards: more time playing outdoors at the local playground!
Computer Vision Syndrome
The American Optometric Association has identified Computer Vision Syndrome, or digital eye strain, as a group of eye-related problems resulting from prolonged use of computers, tablets, e-readers, and smartphones. Symptoms include headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. Some pediatric eye doctors have seen a connection between heavy use of electronic devices and the risk for early myopia in kids.
Why kids outdoor playground make a difference: While interacting with computers, tablets, and other electronic devices forces children to focus on objects close to their faces, preschool playground equipment allows them broaden their fields of vision and focus on objects at all distances (near, mid-range, and far).
Because video games and other forms of electronic entertainment involve sitting for long periods, too much screen time can put kids at risk for juvenile obesity. Kids are also more likely to indulge in high-calorie, high-fat snacks while they’re distracted by what’s happening on the screen.
Why playgrounds make a difference: Running around at the local playground offers calorie-burning cardiovascular benefits, while activities like climbing, crawling, and swinging work muscles in different areas of the body. And while kids are busy being active, they’re less likely to reach for sugary or high-fat snacks.
In 2010, Dr. Larry Rosen of California State University led a study involving 1,000 parents of children ages 4–18 to explore a connection between media consumption and ill-being (which he defined as “psychological problems, behavioral problems, attention difficulties, and physical symptomology”). “What we found was astounding,” Dr. Rosen reports. “For all ages, even after controlling for all possible alternative explanations, total media usage predicted all forms of ill-being.”
Why playgrounds make a difference: Many studies show that time spent outdoors, especially in greener environments, can improve mood, promote creativity, and reduce the risk of depression in both kids and adults. Physical activity has shown to have many of the same effects, making our playgrounds doubly important for kids’ psychological and emotional well being.
While some may question the need for playgrounds in today’s high-tech world, they offer the families in your community a fun, active, healthy break from glowing screens (and the health hazards they pose). By encouraging more family time at your playground, you’re helping parents raise happier, healthier kids while building the bonds that make every community stronger. And that’s one healthy combination!
We all know that outdoor play benefits cardiovascular health and offers kids a much-needed break from electronic media … but did you know that’s just the beginning?
As you encourage the families in your community to visit your playground, take the opportunity to educate them on the lesser-known benefits of playing outdoors:
Improved Attention Spans
According to a study reported in the American Journal of Public Health, time spent outdoors, particularly in greener settings, improved symptoms in children with ADHD, regardless of gender, socioeconomic factors, or environment (urban versus rural). Even when children engaged in the same type of activity indoors and outdoors (running, climbing, etc), it was the outdoor activity that showed a positive effect on ADHD symptoms.
Enhanced Social Skills
Because playground equipment must be shared, kids must work out among themselves who gets to do what, when, and for how long. Not everyone can go down the slide at the same time, for example, so kids must learn how to cooperate — how to make sure everyone gets a turn and how to wait for theirs. Even when it looks like they’re “just running around,” they’re actually learning the ABCs of cooperation, fair play, and respect for others.
Better vision through outdoor play? According to two separate studies in Australia, the answer is yes. Data from the Orinda Longitudinal Study of Myopia showed that children of myopic parents who spend sufficient time outside are at only slightly greater risk for developing myopia than children without myopic parents. And results from the Sydney Myopia Study suggest that greater time spent outside can override the myopia risks associated with near work and schooling.
The precise reason for this benefit is not yet clear, but it could involve pupil constriction in the brighter outdoor light, which results in greater depth of focus, or it could be a direct effect of the light exposure itself. Whatever the reason, parents in your community who are concerned with their kids’ visual health should be encouraged to take advantage of your playground and other outdoor amenities.
Yes, kids can have stress, especially those who have busy schedules both within and outside of school. Studies show that regular outdoor play can alleviate symptoms of stress and also ward off more serious concerns such as depression and anxiety.
Spending time in the sunshine — even during winter when the sun is not as warm — boosts kids’ Vitamin D levels. This important vitamin can help young bodies ward against bone problems and heart disease in the future and can even boost mood, energy levels, and memory. Studies show that even 10-15 minutes of outdoor exposure can boost Vitamin D levels and the related benefits.
So the next time someone asks why your community needs a playground, tell them you’re providing a vital resource to help families raise happier, healthier kids — in more ways than one!
February is upon us and as Valentine’s Day approaches, hearts are popping up everywhere — stores, schools, shopping malls, and offices. But this is also the month to turn our attention to our real hearts — the ones that pump our blood — and making sure they stay healthy.
February was declared American Heart Health Month in 2009 in an effort to raise awareness around the national problem of heart disease and high blood pressure. Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in both men and women in the United States, and 1 in 3 American adults has high blood pressure.
Doctors agree that regular physical activity, along with a healthy diet, is one of the most effective ways of preventing heart disease, and those active habits begin in childhood. A team of researchers at University of California, Riverside found in a 2015 study that kids who exercise early in life are more likely to exercise as adults … and reap the heart-healthy benefits.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children get at least one hour of physical activity every single day. And what better place to enjoy that activity than a playground?
Your playground offers the children of your school, church, or neighborhood a safe, controlled environment that engages their imaginations while they enjoy the thrill of being physically active. It’s also a natural gathering place where families come together … and we all know that being active is more fun when you do it with a friend.
So what can you do to encourage heart-healthy habits in your community? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Send out a flyer to raise awareness of American Heart Health Month and encourage families to make one commitment that will help them be more active, like taking daily family walks.
- Host a “healthy hearts” event at your playground featuring health screenings, healthy food tastings, workshops on heart health, and fun activities for the kids like flag football and dance-a-thons.
- If you have a newsletter, devote your February issue to American Heart Health Month and share healthy recipes and family activity ideas.
- Create a “course” that takes kids through your playground and includes cardio activities between equipment stations, such as jumping jacks or jogging in place.
- Start a group of families who meet at your playground once a week — maybe Saturday or Sunday mornings — and suggest activities for both kids and parents to get their hearts pumping while they enjoy the camaraderie.
Wishing you and your community a heart-healthy February!
September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Research shows that 18 percent of children aged 6-11 years in the United States are obese. This means that one in every five children suffers from obesity, although some kids are more prone to the condition than others. Childhood obesity increases health risks, and diseases such as diabetes that were once perceived to only affect adults are starting to affect children as well.
Here are a few ways to engage your community in the fight against childhood obesity.
Promote fitness-focused play
Playtime on a safe, engaging kids outdoor playground can be a major contributor to physical activity and to overall health. In fact, the latest playground equipment designs are becoming more fitness focused, with features designed to help kids build stronger bones and muscles and improve balance. We can provide kids with fitness benefits to aid in their overall development as well as prevent obesity.
Encourage imagination and interaction
Experts say that kids consider playtime a source of happiness. In addition to the physical benefits they provide, preschool playground equipment can also serve as sources of interaction, engagement, discovery, and cooperation as well as increased creativity. These added benefits offer kids an enjoyable alternative to sedentary activities such as playing video games, which are all too often accompanied by consumption of high-fat snacks and sugary sodas.
Build community support
Healthy living should start at the family level, with nutritious food choices and adequate water consumption. However, the community can also help in the process by raising awareness and offering outdoor activities that are fun, affordable, and safe. By building playgrounds, schools, churches, and neighborhoods can encourage physical activity while also fostering a stronger sense of community among kids and parents.
Childhood obesity is a national problem, but it can be prevented. Studies show that kids who are physically active have better health, participate more in class, and score well on tests, so encourage the families in your community to unite behind the cause of raising fit, healthy kids today.