Measuring the value of play equipment

Playforce is launching a research project to assess the impact of investment in outdoor learning and play equipment by schools

Playforce’s nationwide monitoring initiative – the first of its kind in schools – will collate evidence amongst the company’s primary school and nursery customers about the impact of new play equipment installed. Factors under scrutiny will include physical activity levels, health and wellbeing, and behaviour and attitudes to learning.

Recent research by Playforce found that 44 per cent of primary school headteachers believe that schools bear the biggest responsibility of anyone for developing healthy children. Inactive lifestyles at home were cited as a major worry for 80 per cent of headteachers, 72 per cent were worried about the lack of opportunities for children to take part in active, outdoor play, and 67 per cent were concerned about overweight children and obesity.

Dr Colin MacAdam, managing director of Playforce, said: “The purpose of this important research is to get a clear understanding of what teachers and nursery managers are seeing on a daily basis as a result of investing in improving their outdoor learning and play facilities. Anecdotally we know that schools and nurseries see a multitude of positive outcomes after transforming their outdoor spaces, but this project will provide real insight from those working closely with children every day. Exploring whether physical activity levels change as a result of installing high-quality play equipment will be of particular interest, both in addressing the physical inactivity crisis but also to inform our product development in the future.”

To take part in the Playforce impact evidence research project, Playforce customers should visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/impactevidence2 The Playforce Healthy Children white paper can be downloaded from www.playforce.co.uk/healthy-children

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