Parks and Healthy Kids Fact Sheet
Today’s youth face a variety of chronic illnesses. They have been linked to a lack of activity, poor nutrition and too little time outdoors. To overcome these issues it is integral that kids have access to parks and recreation programs to help promote healthy behaviors.
• Youth today experience a decrease in physical activity and an increase in processed food consumption. Because of it and other factors, children have record levels of obesity and preventable diseases like hypertension and Type II Diabetes. Kids can fight these diseases and live longer by using parks programming, helping children move more and eat healthier.
• Children who live within two thirds of a mile from a park with a playground are five times more likely to be a healthy weight. Spending time outside leads to higher levels of physical activity in children.
• Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder can focus better with a 20-minute walk in a park or other natural area.
• Active children show more brain activity. They are 20% more likely to earn an “A” in English or math.
• 76% of recreation and park agencies offer summer camps, providing some form of active programming for children. 50% of those agencies also provide healthy feeding programs for park participants.
• Youth living in neighborhoods with multiple recreation and park facilities are more likely to be active five times a week, compared to young people who don’t have access to any. Unfortunately, young people who live in poor or mostly minority neighborhoods are 50% less likely to have a recreation and park facility near their homes.
Info available from City of San Ramon website.