The presence of an outdoor gym or street workout in your community becomes the enabling factor in unlocking a number of key outcomes which will benefit your community over the long-term.
The creation of accessible, multi-use, inclusive and publicly available community sports infrastructure such as outdoor gyms and street workouts offers a number of benefits from the following three empirically grounded outcomes:
Physical activity leads to both physical and mental health benefits. Physical benefits include a decreased risk of contracting a chronic disease (cardiovascular diseases, cancers, dementia, obesity, and diabetes), while mental health benefits include a decrease in symptoms of anxiety and depression. These outcomes lead to more effective treatment of health issues, resulting in a greater quality and length of life, as well as less pressure on the public health system. In addition, publicly available outdoor gyms, street workouts, multi-use fitness playgrounds and sports arenas become community hubs for local fitness enthusiasts, personal training groups and community health programs, creating positive social connections within the community.
Studies show that participating in community sport is beneficial for social inclusion, especially when the facilities are multi-use instead of single-use and accessible to able-bodied and disabled users alike. All user groups benefit from positive peer associations and a sense of inclusion, which improves self-esteem, increases cognition and leads to behavioural changes such as positive thinking and goal-setting. These changes can create positive shifts in educational and employability outcomes. Evidence demonstrates that publicly available exercise infrastructure plays a vital role in preventing and reducing crime and anti-social behaviour, particularly among youth. This inadvertently reduces pressure on the public judicial system, increasing savings of public funds.
The economic impacts of community sport infrastructure are immense. By participating in community sport, individuals are mentally and physically healthier, resulting in higher productivity to the economy. During the construction of such infrastructure, short-term economic benefits include employment and the purchasing of associated goods and materials. Post-construction, the activation of the infrastructure provides further employment opportunities through holding community events, health clinics, boot camps, or competitions at local and national level. This triggers ongoing benefits to the local economy through increased foot traffic to the area by local, domestic, and international visitors, in turn benefiting food truck operators and local brick and mortar food vendors.