October 27, 2021

Five Amenities Every Healthy School Campus Should Include

It’s estimated more than 35% of American elementary school students are overweight or obese. A healthy weight is a side effect of a healthy lifestyle. To help students incorporate fitness into their daily life, many schools provide physical education classes, outdoor playgrounds, and other programming. 

If your school is looking for answers to the growing obesity epidemic among students, read on. We’ve collected five playful fitness amenities every healthy campus should include to help students develop healthy habits that last a lifetime. 

1. Upper Body Training

Dr. Joe Frost pioneered the study of how upper body strength is an indicator of a child’s overall health. While most children have the upper body and grip strength to support their body weight by age three, Dr. Frost observed many elementary-aged children who were unable to do so. His answer was more play activities that support upper body muscle development. 

Overhead climbing, also known as brachiating, can help children develop the necessary strength and skills. Adding overhead climbers to your play system or other play and recreation areas helps:

  • Strengthens the upper body and grip strength
  • Works the legs, chest, arms, abdomen, and back
  • Increases endurance, flexibility, and eye-hand coordination
  • Promotes body awareness 
  • Helps children develop gross and fine motor skills and decision-making skills as they climb
  • Improves posture
  • Reduces stress and anxiety

GameTime offers a variety of overhead climbers. From play system components to freestanding climbers, these activities help children develop the skills they need for a healthy lifestyle for years to come.

2. Balance and Coordination

Another essential amenity for every healthy school campus is balance training. Balance training is an excellent strength-building workout that improves joint stability, strengthens muscles, and provides many benefits:

  • Improves reaction time and prevent falls and fractures
  • Promotes body awareness and coordination
  • Helps the body recover faster from injuries 
  • Improves posture and agility

By making balance training part of playful activity, children are more likely to participate. 

GameTime offers balance beams and other play activities that enhance balance and coordination. The Balance Board Station is a fun outdoor fitness product for older children and teens. 

3. Full-Body Exercises

Another vital amenity for every healthy campus is climbers. Like overhead climbers, climbing is a great full-body workout with a lessened strain on the body. Climbers differ from overhead climbers by also engaging the thigh muscles. The following list describes some more health benefits to climbers:

  • Stronger arms, shoulders, back, neck, and forearms
  • Promotes body awareness and coordination
  • Improves flexibility, stamina, balance, and endurance 
  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Helps children develop gross and fine motor skills and decision-making skills as they climb

GameTime’s VistaRope line has rope climbers that children climb over, under, and all around. This added flexibility makes VistaRope a well-loved favorite at any school.

4. Walking Paths

Walking is an excellent way to promote healthy habits among children. As students move through their environment, they learn to explore, ask questions, and interact with the world around them. For children, walking is:

  • An interesting and fun way to discover people and objects they encounter
  • A great way to encourage social interaction with peers and teachers
  • Essential to promoting a sense of independence and children make decisions about the direction they take and the pace at which they walk
  • A boost to mental and physical health, a mood enhancer, and an aid for attention and alertness

You can encourage walking throughout your school campus by creating fun routes and pathways for children to take. For students who use a mobility device, these paths and trails can encourage inclusive play and interaction among peers. 

Consider adding a PlayTrail around your school with nature-themed play pockets. Or add informational and directional signs to suggest new and interesting paths throughout your campus. 

5. Recovery Areas

Rest and recovery are as essential for children as physical activity. Rest allows young muscles time to recover and rebuild. It also helps children transition from outdoor activity to indoor classwork. 

Healthy school campuses include spaces where children, teachers, and caregivers can rest after play. Consider benches and picnic tables to give children a place to gather themselves and rest up. These areas are also excellent places to install hand sanitizer stations to reduce the spread of germs and bacteria.

Help Children Develop Healthy Habits

Overhead climbers, balance training, climbers, walking paths, and rest areas are part of the formula to solve the health crisis among children. Adding any of these amenities will help provide more physical activity and reverse the trend of overweight and obesity.

To make fun physical activity a part of your students’ lives, contact a GameTime representative today.

categories Schools