At Playforce we have always put ourselves forward as campaigners for combatting Childhood Obesity. Our playgrounds are designed to make active, outdoor time a positive, natural part of children’s daily lives. That’s why it’s been disappointing news to hear that Theresa May’s government has been accused of diluting plans drawn up under David Cameron that were designed to cut Britain’s childhood obesity levels.
The original draft of the government’s childhood obesity strategy included restrictions on junk-food advertising and on unhealthy product placement in supermarkets. These have since been cut alongside a change in the pledge to ‘halve’ childhood obesity to simply ‘significantly reduce’.
It’s more important than ever to keep shouting about the importance of increasing children’s physical activity from a very young age. That’s why we carried out research in 2015 to understand the link between school playgrounds and children’s physical activity. The results showed that investment in school playgrounds increases children’s physical activity and behaviour, with nearly half of schools saying that improving their outdoor facilities has significantly increased physical activity levels.
We are continuing to study the topic further with the launch of our 2016 survey that is collecting research amongst customers into the evidential impact that investment in play areas has for school-age children.
We hope that by demonstrating the hugely positive effects that school playground has on physical activity levels, we can encourage more schools to get active. Making physical activity a natural, fun part of the daily routine is essential for combatting childhood obesity at a time where the government is failing to follow advice from health and play campaigners.
You can read our Combatting Childhood Obesity Report here.
Read the results from our survey in our Healthy Children Report and our 2017 update here.
Playforce customers can help us collect research for our 2016 study by filling out a short survey here.