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Schools a resource for community physical activity

by Nancy V. on Tuesday, July 30, 2013

In NH, 62% of adults and 26% of kids are either overweight or obese, which is largely caused by a combination of not enough physical activity and unhealthy eating habits.  In order for adults and children to get the exercise they need to be healthy they need places to be active.  Research has shown that people who have parks or recreation facilities nearby exercise 35 percent more than those who don’t have easy access. For some people access to places to exercise are limited by weather or affordability.  Our public schools that have facilities which include running tracks, gymnasiums or fitness rooms, can be used by residents when not in use for school activities.  Some barriers cited for not allowing school property to be used include safety, insurance and liability concerns that need to be addressed before school facilities can be used by the public.  It could be that liability protections for schools need to be put into place or clarified to give school districts a level of comfort in opening their facilities in a manner they see fit.  There may also be concerns about increased expenditures on the part of schools should costs be incurred for keeping facilities open beyond school hours.  In which case, funding sources may need to be identified for increased maintenance or overhead costs.

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