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HUMAN KINETICS

Bio-Healthy Parks Developed for Older Adults in Europe

In European countries, physical activity parks are being built by local governments to provide a place for older adults to practice and perform physical activities.

By Vicente Romo Pérez, Spain


Physical activity parks are designed for older adults to exercise.
Physical activity parks are designed for older adults to exercise.

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The first New AGE facility was recently launched at Clark Lindsey Village Retirement Community in Urbana, Illinois, United States. The facility provides an outdoor space filled with green walkways, flower gardens, exotic plants, bird feeders, rock gardens, lawns, and patios. Although this space may look like a relaxing park or garden, it is actually a health maintenance facility designed to provide numerous opportunities for older adults to engage in stimulating activities designed to enhance


In European countries, physical activity parks are being built by local governments to provide a place for older adults to practice and perform physical activities. These facilities began to be built in Finland with the "Dynamic Garden" and "3 Generational Play" in 2005. The first park in Spain was built in Leganes, Madrid, which was named "Parque Biosaludable" (Bio-Healthy Park).

These parks are built by the municipal government in Spain to promote the practice of physical activity in elderly people. Most of the Bio-Healthy Parks are built in conventional parks and gardens of the Spanish cities and towns. These gardens carry out an interesting public service relating to the health and well-being of older adults for maintaining both body and mind in a healthy state. Exercise equipment is found within the small enclosed area. Although there is no instructor available, users can utilize posters of information for instructions on how to use the equipment. All equipment is designed to promote exercise outdoors. The exercises proposed help to maintain or improve cardiovascular and respiratory function, muscular strength, flexibility, agility, coordination and balance.


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Physical Activity Parks

Since the first installation of the parks in 2005, there has been a growth of these geriatric parks in Spanish cities. The cost of construction of these parks is around 12,000 € and is funded by local or regional governments. Additional information is available at http://www.dreipark.es and http://www.ibercolmex.com/index2.html.

 

 

Signs provide instructions on how to use the exercise equipment.
Signs provide instructions on how to use the exercise equipment.


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