A recent study of teenage play shows that teen obesity carries the same lethal risks as heavy smoking – getting teenagers outdoors and active has never been more important.
With a recent study showing that teen obesity carries the same lethal risks as heavy smoking – getting teenagers outdoors and active has never been more important. Teenagers need to be enticed away from the computer and TV-based, indoor lifestyles they have come to epitomise.
The gradual decline of physical activity in teenagers has made outdoor play areas more relevant today than they’ve ever been. But, what works for a toddler won’t work for a teenager.
As a group that is notoriously difficult to please, teen-focused playgrounds need to include areas for sport, socialising and a spot of privacy. They need a range of equipment that satisfies a thirst for adventure and physical challenge, but which sets them apart from their younger play mates.
A multi-use games area – which can offer facilities for football, netball, basketball and cricket, for instance, will give teenagers a breath of fresh air and deliver on the government’s recommended two hours of quality physical activity per week. Wicksteed even offer extreme climbing challenges with their realistic stone rockscapes ~ another sure fire way to entice lazy teenagers outdoors. Similarily, new outdoor gym concepts, such as Wicksteed’s Xerscape range, which include challenging apparatus for stretching, flexing, toning and strengthening muscles and limbs, brings the fitness studio right to the teenager’s doorstep ~ and it’s all free of charge!
Teen shelters also provide a much-needed hideout for older kids; a place to ‘chill out’ and - as an increasingly technological-savvy generation - play computer games, listen to music on iPods or text, chat and take photos on mobile phones.
Crucially, facilities targeted specifically at teenagers have proved invaluable in reducing anti-social behaviour and petty crime because they give teenagers an alternative hangout to the street or shopping mall. Crime Prevention Officers have shown that dedicated facilities for teenagers can help disperse larger groups and make green spaces a more positive experience for ALL users.