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Local authority invests in ‘stealth health’

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Barrow Park in Cumbria has installed new playground equipment in an attempt to make children using the facility active.

Barrow Borough Council introduced the i.play system in order to attract children back to the playground and to introduce them to healthy, interpersonal play.

Launched last month, the i.play system has been developed by playground producer Playdale and Loughborough University-based company Progressive Sports Technologies (PST).

The i.play system is aims to provide a whole body, high energy work out that improves fitness, coordination, agility, reaction time and muscle power. It issues a series of instructions via an embedded LED screen, which involve single or multiple players running, jumping and twisting to interact with activity switches situated at different heights on the unit.

Barrow Park’s intention in the future is to take advantage of the i.play system’s GPRS wireless connectivity, which means that new games, sound effects and even music can be uploaded to the i.play system, resulting in scalable equipment that continues to present new challenges.

Playdale spokesperson Barry Leahey explains that exercise by stealth – physical activity that is enjoyable enough not to feel like a chore – drove the development of the i.play system.

He said: “The health of the nation’s children is the defining issue of our time, but unfortunately we’ve reached the stage where we’re focusing on making children exercise.

“It was important to find a way of combining children’s technology-centred idea of fun with physical exertion. Remember that kids are meant to play because

The i.play system is solar powered and vandal resistant and mainly targeted for a core 8-14 age group,

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Barrow Park in Cumbria has installed new playground equipment in an attempt to make children using the facility active.
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