By 2050, 90 per cent of Britons will be overweight.*
The drive to get children more physically active is a national concern. Obligatory PE may help, but if children are to choose healthy lifestyles into adulthood, this needs to be part of their daily lives as children.
For many children, school grounds are the only place they have the freedom to play together, actively, every day.
The school playground can be an inspiring informal gym.
In a survey of schools that improved their grounds with LTL support, 85 per cent reported increased active play and games.**
Simply providing more games equipment for children at breaktime can increase physical activity by a quarter.*** Small bits of kit such as hoops and skipping ropes inspire exercise. Playground markings promote running games. Resources, to encourage activity such as climbing, jumping and swinging, help children to become much fitter without even realising it.
Activity is so much more appealing when there’s a playground full of playmates to play with.
* Report to Foresight (the Government Office for Science) for the project Tackling Obesities: Future Choices. October 2007.
** National School Grounds Survey 2003, Learning Through Landscapes.
Read the survey.
*** Increasing children’s physical activity levels during recess periods in elementary schools: the effects of providing game equipment, Verstraete, Stefanie J. M.; Cardon, Greet M.; De Clercq, Dirk L. R.; De Bourdeaudhuij, Ilse M. M. European Journal of Public Health, Volume 16. Read the research.