Industrial estates have always been fairly soulless places where people go to work and then go home at the end of the day having seen nothing but concrete and car parks.
But now things are changing fast as businesses increasingly see valuing the health of their employees as one of the ways in which they can retain a happy, healthy and productive workforce. And one of the ways in which this can be achieved is by subscribing to the benefits of incorporating outdoor fitness equipment into industrial parks.
Outdoor Gyms Increasing in Popularity
The Americans have long bought into the idea of the concept of outdoor gyms and particularly natural outdoor fitness equipment and green spaces in the work environment. And now UK employers are catching up too. Many new industrial parks are built according to strict regulations which not only emphasise safety but also with a nod to improving physical and mental health. Outdoor fitness equipment is now seen as something which can bring enormous benefits in terms of employee health and can also help to attract new businesses to industrial areas.
What are the Health Benefits?
Outdoor fitness equipment is designed to be used by everyone regardless of their fitness levels and it can be arranged so that it can be used by groups or individual persons. Aside from the obvious increase in physical fitness which comes from using the equipment regularly there are added benefits as well. People exercising together during breaks or after work tend to form greater bonds than if they see each other purely as work colleagues. Friendships and alliances are formed which can spill over into the work environment and this can lead to an increase in workplace morale and productivity.
A specialist manufacturer of natural outdoor fitness equipment will be only too happy to offer advice on which key pieces of equipment you will need. But generally speaking you would probably benefit from several pieces which incorporate workouts for upper and lower body as well as cardio machines for overall fitness.
In recent years public parks and children’s playgrounds have embraced the fitness ethos in a bid to tackle the growing obesity crisis and the need for healthy environmentally beneficial outdoor spaces. Thankfully the developers of new industrial parks and enlightened employers are also seeing how green spaces, and outdoor wooden gym equipment can enhance the working environment and the lives of their workers. A great investment that provides a great return. A thoughtful design draws in passing trade. A great reflection of the working communities forward thinking and commitment to the health of their valued staff.
Natural play equipment offers more than you might think. Traditionally, new housing estates have been built to a certain formula where the available space is filled solely with buildings and with little thought of incorporating more than the minimum green space, usually in the form of a lifeless patch of grass.
Thankfully this is now changing with more enlightened local authorities setting out recommendations relating to the importance of developing public open spaces and play environments. The National Planning Policy Framework (2012) requires developers to provide the ‘appropriate amount of and mix of public open space provision.’ And we think natural play equipment fits with this perfectly.
Enhancement to Quality of Life
Developers and local authorities are at last waking up to the advantages of green spaces and play areas and the benefits to public health, particularly the health of our children. With the loss of so many school sports fields over recent decades opportunities for children to enjoy healthy outdoor play has diminished. Not least is the benefit to wildlife when areas of green space are created with the health of our ecological system in mind.
Natural Outdoor Play Equipment for Health Benefits
We have always known that outdoor play is the best route to good health for children. Every child should have the chance to play outdoors in the fresh air and in a safe environment and thankfully future developments will incorporate open, healthy green spaces where children can play on natural outdoor play equipment and explore the surroundings.
Abolish the Plastic
Now that developers are legally obliged to incorporate designated play areas into new estates, with clear guidance set out for how this should be done, there is a wonderful opportunity to embrace the benefits of natural play equipment. Where outdoor play equipment has been provided in the past this has usually taken the form of cheap, mass-produced plastic items designed with a limited shelf-life. Modern outdoor play equipment made from durable, sustainable and safe hardwood timber and long-lasting stainless steel is not only good to look at it is environmentally friendly and eco-conscious too. Today’s families are all too aware of the damage plastics are doing to the planet and want local authorities and developers to plan new estates with sustainability in mind.
Safety First and Foremost
Children will always find ways to injure themselves and past playground developments have undoubtedly been far from the safest places for children to play. With this in mind safety surfacing is incorporated into wooden outdoor playgrounds which is not only less likely to cause serious injury but also fulfils the obligation to enhance and protect the natural environment. These safety surfacing options include grass mats and rubber mulch. Both of which are made from recycled rubber tyres.
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