London Study of Playgrounds: Preliminary Report

We are excited to share that we have put together a preliminary report of our findings from our London Study of Playgrounds! 

 

In the spring of 2015, over a six month period, we visited 45 playgrounds within the 1km radius of the center of London, and selected 16 as part of our study. We then conducted 253 observations, took 1638 videos and categorized 14,853 visitors by age, gender, ethnicity and activity levels.

Upon returning to the US, we compared our findings to the National Study of Neighborhood Parks by the RAND Corporation, to understand the influences of the design of playgrounds on play behaviors and physical activity levels in children and teens.

We discovered that playgrounds in London had 55% more visitors and 16-18% more physical activity in children and teens than comparable playgrounds in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

The report contains a summary of our methodology, our initial findings, as well as images of the 16 play spaces. It is the first of two reports. The second will be a more in depth look at play behaviors related directly to surfaces and play structures, as well as an assessment of playground injury rates in the UK vs US, and cost differences in playground installation and maintenance in the two countries.

Happy reading!