Public Fitness Parks Aid Income-Health Inequality

A nonprofit is helping cities across the country fund free outdoor gyms in public parks to help combat the nation's obesity epidemic.
by | January 17, 2013 AT 3:00 PM
An outdoor gym -- which is common in Asia and Europe -- in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo: Flickr CC/Becksta1)

Many Americans make New Year's resolutions revolved around fitness and weight loss and join gyms to reach their goals -- but not everyone can afford a gym membership. Those who can't are in luck. In 80 locations throughout the country (the first of which was installed three years ago), a nonprofit has helped or is in the process of helping cities fund outdoor gyms that are free to the public, reports the USA Today. Most of these fitness playgrounds are installed in low-income neighborhoods, have six to eight exercise units, are designed to withstand adverse weather, and are installed in public parks that cities already own. While they work better in cities with warmer weather, they've also been installed in colder climates like Denver and Minneapolis. With an eye on curbing obesity, New York City and Salt Lake City have reportedly inquired about the project.