Adult playgrounds have long been popular in China, Japan, and parts of Europe and South America, and now the concept is increasingly being adopted in the United States as well. These unique playgrounds provide an outdoor space that offers older adults opportunities for physical activity and social interaction. Some of these playgrounds resemble “jungle gyms” and are geared toward fitness. These may feature low-impact, joint-friendly equipment and can also “focus on promoting balance, flexibility and range of motion.” However, some playground designers focus more on creating attractive outdoor places for adults to spend time in, whether it is walking on paths, playing games like bocce ball, or sitting around tables to play cards or chess. Benches are laid out in ways that facilitate social interaction. If these spaces can motivate older adults to remain physically and socially active, it will allow them to maintain better health and age in place longer.
Howard B. Playgrounds for an aging population. Wall Street Journal. http://www.wsj.com/articles/playgrounds-for-an-aging-population-1480302001. Accessed January 4, 2017.