The Benefits Of Outdoor Gyms For Schools

Outdoor gyms are the latest fitness trend. If you read our post The Rise In Outdoor Gyms, then you’re probably already familiar with the fact that many communities are adding outdoor fitness equipment to their existing parks. But, did you know that outdoor gym equipment can also benefit schools and the kids who attend? Why? Keep reading to find out!

The Importance of Exercise

First things first, let’s talk about the importance of exercise. Exercise is so important for everyone, especially kids. According to Forbes, in this day and age, kids spend an average of seven hours a day in front of electronics. And, this modern sedentary lifestyle is definitely impacting many kids on so many different levels, including health and well-being. 

According to the American Heart Association, kids ages 3-5 need plenty of opportunities to move throughout the day. And, kids ages 6-17 need at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous-intensity physical activity each day. And, they need at least three days a week of vigorous intensity and need to engage in muscle- and bone-strength activities at least three days a week as well.  

Adding outdoor gym equipment to your existing playground is a great way to help kids move more during recess. In fact, according to the American Society for the Positive Care of Children (American SPCC), “unstructured outdoor playtime can double as exercise.”

The Importance of Outdoor Play

Okay, so you get it. Kids need exercise. But, they also need lots of opportunities to get outside. Here are some reasons why outdoor play is awesome.

1. Fresh Air

For one thing, outdoor play allows kids to get fresh air. We talked a little bit about the benefits of fresh air in our post The Rise In Outdoor Gyms. Essentially, exercising outside has many health benefits, even more than indoor exercising. Some of these benefits include:

  • Increase in energy
  • More positive self-self esteem
  • Better mood
  • Vitamin D exposure
  • Lower chances of depression
  • Less stress
  • Overall improved immune system

2. Better Peer Relationships

Unstructured outdoor play helps foster peer-to-peer relationships by allowing kids to engage and interact with their peers. 

3. Gross Motor Skills Development

Outdoor play is great for younger kiddos because it allows them to work on their whole body movement. Outdoor play lends itself to big movements, like jumping, climbing, bouncing, etc. It gives toddlers and preschoolers the chance to work on and strengthen these types of skills. 

4. Language Skills Improvement

When kids are outside playing with their friends, they can actually interact and talk to each other, which gives them the chance to work on their language skills. 

5. Better Social Skills

According to the American Society for the Positive Care of children, outdoor play can 

provide positive social skill developmental opportunities, such as learning teamwork, negotiation, conflict resolution and multitasking.

6. More Vitamin D

Outdoor play gets outside, which gets them more sunshine, which helps “skin to manufacture its own Vitamin D.” And, according to Healthline, “vitamin D is important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth, as well as improved resistance against certain diseases.”

Outdoor Gyms Are Perfect for PE

Outdoor gym equipment can also be great for outdoor gym activities. Not only do outdoor gyms offer gym teachers a new way to get their students up and moving, but they also give PE teachers the opportunity to take their students outside in the fresh air for gym class. 

And, because there are so many benefits of outdoor play for kids, many schools are adding outdoor fitness equipment to their existing playgrounds to help their students get more out of their gym classes. It’s a win-win!

Southeast Outdoors Solutions’ Outdoor Gym Equipment

The Southeast Outdoors Solutions team can install an outdoor gym for your school or update your existing play structure to include pieces of outdoor gym equipment, like 

  • Rope Climbers
  • Balance Beams
  • Rock Walls
  • Pull Up Bars
  • Chin Up Bars
  • Vertical Ladders
  • Beam Jumps
  • Parallel Bars
  • Sit-Up Benches
  • Spring Up Bars
  • And more!

We work with schools in AL,GA, MS, NC, SC, and TN, and we’d love to help you incorporate more ways to get your students outside more. To learn more about our services, give us a call at (770) 709-5605, fill out this form, check out our interactive survey.