Feel Good

How to Make Public Parks Better

New study says parks could feature more for the elderly

BY May 19, 2016


When you go to a park, who do you usually see? Kids? Families? But how about senior citizens?

A new study says more can be done to attract larger segments of the population. The RAND Corporation took a look at 174 public parks in 25 cities and found that most are doing a disservice to the elderly. Senior citizens make up about 40 percent of the population, but about 95 percent of the people you will see at a park will be younger than 60.

The study found that most parks are geared toward children, with playgrounds and ball fields, but typically leave out use for most full-grown adults.

Of course, no one is saying we should forget the kids when it comes to park design. But more can be done to target an older audience, such as walking loops or fitness zones.

"We need to make changes to attract older people to parks to exercise and stay active, especially with the increasing rates of chronic disease among older people and as our nation's population grows older," Dr. Deborah Cohen, the study's lead author, said in a release.


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