Time For a Seniors Wellness Park?

I know it sounds a little strange, as we’re used to building play areas for children, but with the dramatic growth in the 60+ (Boomer) population, it might be time to start thinking about building a recreation area for elders.

The World Health Organization (2011)* recommends adults 65 and older should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity throughout the week or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity.

*Similar conclusions and recommendations come from many sources, including: The American Academy of Family Physicians, The American Medical Association, The National Institute on Aging, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The American College of Sports Medicine, The Mayo Clinic, and The Cleveland Clinic.

In 2007, North America’s first “Wellness Park” opened in Tsawwassen, British Columbia. Funded by the province, “Seniors’ Community Parks” are being created in 18 communities throughout British Columbia.  These parks have a strong emphasis on flexibility. Studies show that if people can maintain or even improve their flexibility their functional ability in life is much better. The strength component is something very new. Just recently there has been more of a push to improve strength in seniors as well as flexibility, so half of the equipment is focused on flexibility and the other half is focused on building and maintaining strength.

Is it time to start building “wellness parks” for seniors in East York?

– Article courtesy of Ed Horner with files from Must Have Play

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