Senior Playgrounds Offer Fitness and Community

Learn more about Senior Playgrounds in the United States

Senior Playgrounds in the United States

Over 75 Million (in 2015) Baby Boomers, are starting to enter their senior years while redefining our current outlook on “aging”. We all know that proper eating habits and regular exercise is the key to staying independent, yet studies have found that not enough seniors are exercising on a regular basis. One of the ideas that have recently taken hold in the United States are “Senior Playgrounds”, this idea could change the stigma for baby boomers.

What Are Senior Playgrounds Like?

Currently, Adult Outdoor Fitness Areas, which originated in China around 1995 and quickly spread throughout parts of Europe and Japan. Senior Playgrounds can vary in layout and equipment, but at their core each of these fitness areas house outdoor activity and exercise areas developed specifically for the needs of senior adults (Baby Boomers). Traditional exercise equipment may include weight machines, stationary bikes, rope bridges, and balance beams. Many will include walking areas and covered paths.

From SeniorPlanet.org

“For people who spend time caring for grandchildren, multi generation playgrounds make sense – and that’s the model that the nonprofit KaBOOM!, working with the Humana Foundation, is pushing in the United States. Since 2011, KaBOOM! Has built 53 multigenerational playgrounds across the country, according to spokesperson Sarah Pinsky. Many of KaBOOM’s playgrounds are in low-income communities.  “One specific benefit of a multigenerational space is you get children and seniors interacting in ways they might not otherwise,” Pinsky told us. “Plus, it’s a great opportunity for children to see role models of active seniors.” Here’s a 2012 news report of the first multigenerational playground in NYC…”

From MentalFloss.com

“KaBOOM! has constructed 53 multigenerational playgrounds in cities across America, but we still have plenty of catching up to do with the rest of the world. In just the greater Barcelona area alone, there are close to 300 parks for senior citizens (see the video below). Don’t let anyone tell you that playtime is just for kids.”

What is this KaBOOM about?

“The state of play” aka KaBOOM is the national non-profit dedicated to ensuring that all kids get a childhood filled with the balance and active play needed to thrive. How is KaBOOM involved though with seniors?

As published by the Huffington Post, “The United States’ approach to playgrounds for the elderly is slightly different. U.S. playgrounds are being built for multiple generations, not just for seniors. KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization, is working in partnership with the Humana Foundation to build multigenerational playgrounds throughout the country. KaBOOM! has built 53 multigenerational playgrounds across America that have served 135,471 kids and 61,500 seniors, according to Sarah Pinsky, Director of Client Services at KaBOOM!.”

KaBOOM is turning it’s focus to include the ever growing need for Senior Playgrounds! In Tampa, prior to the playground project with Humana and KaBOOM!, Ragan Park had outdated playground equipment for children and just a walking path for adults in the community. Neither were utilized by the community. Now usage of the outdoor space has dramatically increased, even beyond the new playground, with heavy attendance by neighborhood children, seniors and adults. It is truly amazing to see the amount of Barcelona elderly parks reach over 300 alone, which correlates to one for every town in the district.

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