Outdoor facilities a key to improved public health [UPDATED]Published 9:18am Friday, March 15, 2013 Updated 11:22am Friday, March 15, 2013
Our nation continues to grapple with the financial and social consequences of chronic illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity; however, promising solutions can be found in the way our communities are physically designed. According to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the way we design and build our communities can have a dramatic effect on our physical and mental health.
Healthy community design integrates evidence-based health strategies into community planning, transportation, and land-use decisions.
One way of getting our kids and ourselves more physically active is to intentionally build our environment in a way that makes physical activity more appealing and more accessible.
A community that promotes physical activity, social cohesion and contact with natural areas through the design of its built environment becomes a healthy community.
School grounds that are available for students during school hours as well as for students and the community during after school and on weekends for community gatherings and recreational opportunities promote physical activity, social cohesion, and neighborhood safety.
Studies show that contact and exposure to natural areas can reduce stress, improve mental health, and facilitate recovery from illness.
We applaud Fergus Falls Schools for considering both its students and community residents in its plan to improve its physical education opportunities and outdoor facilities.
These improvement steps can and will have a positive impact on the health of students, employees, and the citizenry of Fergus Falls.
PartnerSHIP 4 Health
Jason Bergstrand, Kristin Erickson, Patrick Hollister, Gina Nolte