Go Granny Go: Europeans Design Pensioner Playgrounds

Reader Contribution by Stephanie Bloyd

Grandma on a jungle gym? Why not?! Europeans are proving you’re never too old for fun and games by designing playgrounds especially for senior citizens. Berlin opened Germany’s first playground for seniors earlier this year in an effort to get its aging citizens exercising. All the equipment was designed for people 5 feet tall and up — children can use it only with adult supervision.

The trend in adult playgrounds is based on research from Finland that studied the effects of exercise on two groups of people, aged 65 to 81, who played on specially designed adult playground equipment. The subjects enjoyed improvements in balance, speed and coordination.

The researchers noted that: ‘As many as around 41 percent of aged people restrict their mobility for fear of falling, which prevents exercising the balancing systems … Balance exercise can be used to reduce the risk of falling and achieve savings in medical and rehabilitation costs.’

Hopefully this idea will hop across the pond soon, so seniors in the U.S. can have a turn on the teeter-totter!