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Synthetic Turf to Help Promote Childhood Fitness

By Denise Valenzuela

Posted in

In a recent report put out by the Centers for Disease Control it states that 22% of children and adolescents are obese.  This is a staggering statistic and a serious problem that all communities must address.  The opportunity to increase physical activity is critical for the fitness, well-being and self-esteem of youth.  So what does obesity have to do with the synthetic turf industry?

The lack of safe, appealing places for kids to play or be active is a major problem in many communities. In an effort to reverse this trend, a growing number of parks and playgrounds are installing synthetic turf to help youth be active year-round.

Parks and playgrounds featuring synthetic turf create safe, accessible and resilient playing surfaces for kids.  Turf is great because it caters to children with a diversity of needs and is the same surfaces that elite athletes play on. Synthetic turf promotes inclusive recreation for kids with disabilities and physical challenges since wheelchairs roll easily and crutches won’t sink into park surfaces.

A few years back the City of Lakeland Parks & Recreation Department opened “Common Ground”, a playground featuring unique play experiences for children of varying physical and cognitive abilities. The park provides play opportunity for 17,000 children and features over 25,000 square feet of synthetic turf play zones. The types of parks offer amazing play opportunities for children with and without disabilities. At Five Star we believe this type of surfacing will become a standard for many playgrounds in the future.

Parks are able to significantly increase capacity and conserve millions of gallons of water annually in addition to providing recreation opportunities for youth soccer, football and lacrosse programs.  Schools with synthetic grass playgrounds are seeing a difference in increased physical activity levels in their students. For many schools located in an economically challenged areas kids are forced to play on concrete playgrounds which increase injury risk.  THe implimentation of synthetic turf in some schools has seen student test scores increased by 20%, kids’ self-esteem skyrocketed, and parental involvement increased after the synthetic turf play area and field are installed.

 

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