Parks and Health: fighting the obesity epidemic
Extensive research shows that access to parks is essential for keeping people and communities healthy. Easy access to parks and outdoor gyms increases frequency and intensity of exercise, and people are more likely to exercise when in groups or social environments.
Yet, nearly 50 percent of Americans get less than the minimum recommended amount of physical activity, and 36 percent of U.S. adults engage in no leisure-time physical activity at all. While many variables can account for these statistics, "fitness deserts"—areas where residents do not have access to exercise opportunities—are high on the list. A full 80 percent of US census blocks do not have a park within a half-mile, according to a 2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report [PDF]. These disparities exist in cities all over the country, from Los Angeles to Miami.
Fitness Zones®: a solution
The Trust for Public Land's Fitness Zones® are easy-to-use outdoor gyms that bring a new set of healthy activities to the park experience. Our Fitness Zones create a fun, accessible, and social environment where people can enjoy getting fit. We know that just getting outdoors makes people healthier and happier. Fitness Zones take that one step further by giving people free access to top-quality exercise equipment suitable for all levels of fitness levels.
Today, there are 41 Fitness Zones in Los Angeles offering residents a new way to get in shape. (See map of Fitness Zone locations)
TPL is looking to partner with cities, schools, senior and community centers, and faith-based organizations that want to bring this low-cost and highly beneficial resource to their communities. For more information Contact Us