‘Study suggests traditional playgrounds could do more to reduce childhood obesity’

Researchers at the University of Western Ontario are using plant global positioning systems on elementary school children in London, Ont., in an effort to understand how their environment influences their activity levels.

The GPS data shows that some kids won’t use the jungle gym because the older kids are monopolizing it, and that tree-lined streets make a child more likely to walk to school. This may be because they feel more shielded from traffic. Also evident is that students huddled in the shade of school buildings and utilize very little after-school use of the playgrounds from the preliminary data.

For decades, schools have chopped down trees and replaced them with asphalt, monkey bars and basketball nets all in the belief that it would encourage exercise and make kids happier, but this may not be true.

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Source: Globe and Mail

Sachiye Day, VERTICES intern. sachiye@vertices.com

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