MITCHELL, V. et al, 2007. Do older adults want playgrounds? IN: Proceedings of INCLUDE, 'Designing with People' , 1-4 April 2007, Royal College of Art, London
Current research indicates that the use of playgrounds by older adults would provide many health benefits. The paper explores the attitudes and barriers faced by older UK adults towards the concept of using playgrounds for exercise. Interviews and discussion groups were held involving in total 125 older adults between the ages of 58 and 100. The views of equipment manufacturers and those with a professional interest in playground provision were also sought using interviews and postal questionnaires. Whilst the older adults sampled were currently making very little use of playground equipment, there was notable interest in the concept of playground use. Considerable social barriers to playground use were however highlighted. Placing playgrounds in a controlled supervised environment and partaking in playground use with grandchildren were seen as the most popular ways of overcoming such barriers. Even when functionally inclusive equipment is available it is important that all social barriers are overcome, if older adults are to use playgrounds.