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School recreation spaces can be play spaces for all

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Shared-use of school playgrounds and indoor spaces shown to increase physical activity for children and young adults

Kids playing with parachuteThe American Heart Association issued a policy statement last week in the American Journal of Public Health announcing support for shared-use agreements that open school recreational facilities to members of a community during non-school hours.

Keeping  playgrounds, gyms and recreation fields open to the community outside of school hours, has been shown to increase physical activity in children and young adults. This is especially important in low-income communities where access to safe spaces for physical activity can often be a challenge.

Deborah Rohm Young, PhD, a research scientist studying physical activity interventions with the Kaiser Permanente Department of Research & Evaluation was the lead author for the policy statement:

“If you want to get active, you need a place to be active,” explains Dr. Young. “We need more voices to help local schools share their playgrounds and gyms with the community.”


View the AHA press release.

Read the full commentary: “Promoting Physical Activity Through the Shared Use of School Recreational Spaces.

Read the Q & A interview with Dr. Deborah Rohm Young on the Center for Total Health blog.

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