Falling levels of physical activity amongst children is a global problem that has severe consequences for society as a whole. The rise of obesity is quite rightly linked to the reduction of physical exercise in a child’s life. In recent years the increase of obesity caused by inactivity is proving costly for the National Health Service.
Physical exercise needs to once again become a part of a child’s daily routine, and the playground is an ideal place to promote a healthier, more active lifestyle.
A recent study by Liverpool John Moore’s University outlined that Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) plays an important role in determining health outcomes. The research demonstrated that by increasing MVPA by just 5 minutes per day reduces the long-term risk of cardiovascular disease.
The ‘Sporting Playgrounds’ project explored how modifying playground environments can positively influence levels of physical activity in school children, with playground markings identified as a key way to promote this.
Thermoplastic playground markings are a cost effective way to improve your outdoor space, making it not only aesthetically pleasing but allowing for academic learning opportunities. Along with improving numeracy and literacy skills, playground markings can help to develop fundamental movement skills such as stability and object control and promote positive attitudes towards future physical activity.
Children can learn to be more co-operative and take part in fun, non-competitive activities. Areas of the playground can be zoned for different adventurous learning zones and themes or key stages enabling appropriate ways of engagement.
Thermoplastic playground markings are designed by graphic designers who specialise in creating education enhancing, eye catching designs aimed to stimulate learning, creativity and physical activity. The thermoplastic used to create the intricacy of the designs is precision cut to ensure a crisp finish with elaborate parts. The thermoplastic is extremely hard wearing to create a long lasting school playground design. The non-toxic, environmentally friendly material will long outlast paint and maintain a good vivid colour.
The research conducted by LJMU demonstrated that modifications to play spaces significantly increased physical activity over a prolonged period, with the positive effects of playground re-design still evident after 12 months.
“Health economics analysis of our data concluded that the cost of increasing vigorous physical activity by 5 minutes per day was £5.40 per child per year. According to the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence this modest amount represents an extremely cost-effective intervention to enhance the health of children.”
LJMU – Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences.
Playground markings are an inexpensive way of transforming your outdoor space into an aesthetically pleasing area that promotes physical activity. Different ages can be catered for with different games or educational markings and enable a shift in attitude towards future physical activity.
To speak to one of the Uniplay team about how we can help to increase the activity levels of your children, call us on 0333 321 6699.