Obesity and health related risks in the United States are seriously on the rise. In 1985, no more than 15 percent of the population in any state was identified as obese. In 2016, five states had obesity rates higher than 35 percent.

Obesity is a serious health epidemic that rivals both the opioid crisis and cigarette smoking in terms of the number of deaths that are caused in the United States each year. It is also related to several other serious health conditions including type-two diabetes, hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

In response to a widespread decline in health, communities are promoting increased physical activity with the installation of outdoor exercise equipment. Outdoor exercise equipment is located at community trails, public parks and other green spaces. The location of outdoor exercise equipment also boosts additional physical activity, as nearby residents typically walk or bike to workout equipment zones. In addition to improving health and well-being, outdoor fitness solves another great obstacle: affordability.

Surveys identify affordability as a major obstacle to exercise for most people. A CNBC report on the true cost of gym memberships revealed the average American pays anywhere from forty to fifty dollars a month plus initiation fees for a total average cost of $800 a year. In addition to the high cost, much of the payment goes unutilized. In a research paper titled, “Paying Not to Go to the Gym,” economists Stefano DellaVigna and Ulrike Malmendier demonstrated that people who buy annual gym memberships overestimate their usage by more than seventy percent, meaning they are mostly paying for services they are not using. Perhaps the biggest catch of all is that once members realize they are paying for services they are not using, they cannot simply discontinue payments. They have signed a binding contract, typically a one-year agreement with no cancellations allowed. Outdoor exercise equipment, on the other hand, can be used as needed and is typically located in public areas free of charge. Park visitors can take full advantage of working out outside, both membership and commitment free. In addition to providing an excellent alternative in terms of affordability, outdoor exercise has also been shown to boost energy, mood and self esteem.

Pro Playgrounds offers a variety of outdoor exercise equipment options designed to boost physical activity, including fit riders, push up bars, stretching posts, sit up benches, balance beams and more.