Archive for category Playgrounds

Drinking water in our parks

Sustain in the UK launched a new campaign to get drinking fountains provided in every public park.

It’s a grassroot campaign where concerned individuals can download and do a survey in a local park. After visiting a local park to check out the drinking water supply citizens are encurraged to filling in a short Survey Monkey survey by 30th September 2009.  Sustain will use this information to build up a picture of drinking water in parks across the UK.

Also help is provided if the water supply in local parks is not good enough.  A template letter and information on finding the correct contact details are available.

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Playground Markings Increase Physical Activity

A new study shows the benefits of adding playground markings encourage kids to move more.

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Active kids appear to be happier

Canadian researcher Mark Holder and colleagues asked 375 children, ages 8-12, about what they did for fun, paying special attention to the amount of time the kids said they spent in “active” leisure activities—physical activities such as sports and exercise—or “passive” activities, such as sitting at a screen or talking on the phone.

Holder found that the more kids engaged in active leisure, and the more important active leisure was to them, the happier they were and the more positive they felt about themselves.

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Promoting physical activity during school breaks

The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the effectiveness of two interventions on children’s physical activity during the 20-min school break. Children from three schools participated in this study. In the first intervention school (89 kids) the school’s courts were allocated to different children on alternate days of the week, playground markings were painted in the school’s yard and jump ropes were provided. In the second intervention school (89 kids) the school’s courts were just allocated to different children on alternate days of the week. The third school served as the control group (69 kids). Physical activity was measured with a pedometer during. A significant time by group interaction indicated a change in break-time activity. Four weeks after the intervention, mean steps in the first (1427+/-499) and second (1331+/-651) intervention schools were significantly higher than steps in the control school (1053+/-447).

Implementing simple, low-cost interventions during break periods could help increase children’s activity.

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After-Hours Use of Public School Property

Schools and local governments can help prevent childhood obesity by  opening school buildings and facilities—such as gymnasiums, playgrounds, fields, courts, and tracks—to public use after school hours. School officials may be reluctant to do so, however, because of concerns about liability in the event of injuries.

Legal advise is now avaliable for free here: Read more

Games for Health

The 5th Annual Games for Health Conference is coming to Boston on June 11-12 2009 with a packed lineup of speakers from game development firms, health and medical institutions, academic and research institutions etc.

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I changed my blog

Dear subscriber,

I just wanted to let you know that I over the past weekend made some major changes to my email and  RSS news feeds. From now on all stories are made as posts on my blog at  Searching and navigating my blog is now much easier. Hope you will enjoy it. Each heading will take you to my blog and from there you can click on ‘Read me” for access to the original information.

Sorry that many old stories will be repeat posted in feeds and mails today. We will soon be back to normal.

All the best

Additional Physical Activity at School May Not Lead to Increases in Overall Activity

Increasing the amount physical activity kids engage in at school doesn’t mean they’ll be more active out of school. In fact, just the opposite may be true, according to study findings presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Amsterdam in May 2009. “We hypothesized that a lot of physical education at school would inculcate a habit,” Dr. Terence Wilkin told Reuters Health. “We found it made no difference. What some children lack in school, they make up for — with remarkable precision — out of school.”

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Go Play Outside – A guide to grandparents is offering a free guide called, “Go outside and play!” It is a free download from their website. The guide has suggestions for fun activites that grandparents can do with grand kids such as: Backyard afternoons, fun in the field, in touch with nature, & neighborhood action.

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Lessons from Los Angeles on PA and Public Health Policy

This paper presents a case study on using research and law to change public health policy. The City Project (a legal and policy advocacy organization), working with teachers and school officials, is using social science and legal research to promote changes in public policy to ensure physical education in public schools in Los Angeles, California.

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