The cheap, colorful way cities are trying to fight childhood obesity

July 31, 2014, City Lab

By Aarian Marshall

The United States has a well-known childhood obesity problem. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one third of the nation’s children and adolescents were overweight or obese in 2012. The percentage of obese children ages 6 to 11 more than doubled over the past three decades, from 7 percent in 1980 to 18 percent in 2012.

But some cities, designers, and child health advocates think they have a solution—at least a small part of a solution. And the best news for cash-strapped schools and governments is that the solution is cheap.

In the language of playground design, “ground markings” are shapes, pictures, or games drawn onto the surfaces of play areas. These include readymade hopscotch squares, giant maps, and big circles to leap between. Continue reading

Preschooler physical activity influenced by several factors

Oct. 13, 2013, dailyRx

It’s important for all children to get a regular amount of physical activity each day. Sometimes, the amount they get is affected by factors at preschool.

A recent study identified nine factors that affected how much physical activity preschoolers got.

Boys were more active than girls, and rainy days decreased their activity levels.

The placement of the preschool on the playground and the time children spent at preschool in the afternoon also influenced their physical activity levels. Continue reading