Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Innovative playspace refurbishment more than doubles visits at Melbourne’s Brimbank Park

Innovative playspace refurbishment more than doubles visits at Melbourne’s Brimbank Park
February 8, 2018

A newly published study on an innovative playscape in a local Melbourne park shows that installation resulted in more than double the number of park visitors engaging in physical activity at the park.

Published in The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, the REVAMP (Recording and EValuating Activity in a Modified Park) study provides clear evidence that playground refurbishment can have a big impact on park visitation and park-based physical activity.

Lead author, Dr Jenny Veitch, from the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) at Deakin University, said despite considerable investment in park renovations, few studies have examined the impact of improving park amenities on people’s physical activity and visits to parks.

Dr Veitch advised “when Parks Victoria were planning to install a new playscape at Brimbank Park, we seized the opportunity to conduct a natural experiment and evaluate the effectiveness of ‘real world’ changes in the physical environment

“An innovative play-scape was installed that included a maze, nature play area, climbing equipment and various sculptures, designed to encourage visitors, in particular children, to connect with both the natural environment and the significant Indigenous cultural heritage of the region.

“We were able to examine the impact of the Brimbank Park improvement on children, parents, adults and seniors over two years and compare it with a control park that had similar infrastructure prior to the refurbishment.”

The REVAMP study found that as a result of the refurbishment:

• Brimbank Park had over two and a half times more park visitors, relative to the control park
• Brimbank Park had more than double the amount of park visitors observed engaging in moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA), relative to the control park
• Visitors to the new play-scape area increased more than seven times at Brimbank Park, whereas visitor counts at the playground at the control park decreased slightly over the same period.

Dr Veitch said that previous IPAN research had found that parks in socio-economically disadvantaged areas like Brimbank are more likely to be of poorer quality than parks in wealthier areas.

She added “attracting people to visit and be physically active in parks is very important to their health and wellbeing and with significant population growth in urban areas and increases in mid and high density living, the availability of high quality parks is critical for future generations.

“These findings confirm that well-designed play-scape refurbishments have the potential to increase park visitation and encourage visitors to use these spaces to be physically active.

“This evidence is important for policy and decision makers, urban planning, and future park developments, to ensure our parks are designed to support local communities to lead healthy and active lives.”

Welcoming the findings, VicHealth Chief Executive Jerril Rechter said lifestyles were becoming increasingly sedentary and less than a third of Australians were getting enough physical activity to benefit their health.

Rechter advised “we know there are many barriers preventing Victorians from increasing their level of physical activity - including access to local opportunities, cost or simply a lack of motivation.

"This project shows if we make physical activity an easy and attractive part of people’s daily lives they are more likely to do it. Projects like this improve people’s health and prevent chronic disease.”

Also welcoming the study, Parks Victoria Chief Executive Matthew Jackson commented “a big focus for Parks Victoria is to help people of all ages and abilities gain the health benefits of being in nature and our parks.

“We have been delighted to watch the playscape become a popular place for children and their families, and these research findings from IPAN at Deakin University are very welcome news.”

REVAMP was funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC Linkage Grant LP120200396), Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) and City West Water. It included four partners: Parks Victoria, VicHealth, Brimbank City Council and City West Water.

Click here to view The REVAMP natural experiment study: the impact of a play-scape installation on park visitation and park-based physical activity.

Images of Brimbank Park courtesy of Dr Jenny Veitch. 

20th July 2017 - NEW PLAN TO GET VICTORIANS MORE ACTIVE

20th December 2016 - PHILLIP ISLAND NATURE PARKS HEAD NAMED NEW PARKS VICTORIA CHIEF EXECUTIVE 

14th October 2016 - OUTDOOR PLAY ESSENTIAL TO HEALTHY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT

30th December 2015 - PASSPORT TO AN AMAZING CHILDHOOD PROGRAM ENCOURAGES OUTDOOR PLAY

27th April 2015 - CHILDHOOD OBESITY STUDY EMPHASISES IMPORTANCE OF EXERCISE FOR YOUNG AND OLD

15th April 2015 - BRIMBANK PARK WELCOME DAY MARKS COMMENCEMENT OF NATURE PLAY WEEK

10th April 2015 - DEAKIN UNIVERSITY STUDY INTO THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF PARKS

9th April 2015 - NEW MOVEMENT AIMS TO GET CHILDREN PLAYING OUTSIDE

5th May 2014 - NATURE PLAY PASSPORTS TO ENCOURAGE ACTIVITY FOR CHILDREN

14th March 2012 - NEARLY HALF OF AUSSIE KIDS DON’T PLAY EVERY DAY, STUDY FINDS


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

MYZONE

Myzone is the industry’s leading wearable technology solution. Myzone’s wearable products show and reward effort when you work out. It displays accurate real-time heart rate, calories, and…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 

revolutioniseSPORT

revolutioniseSPORT is the emerging market leader in online club management in Australia. Whether it is memberships, registrations, events, online sales or governance tools - revolutioniseSPORT is the…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Technology

 
 

HYPOXI Australia Pty Ltd

HYPOXI®  is one of Europe’s most successful health and weight loss studio concepts.  It’s the first weight loss technology to incorporate exercise with advanced vacuum and…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Hadley/Series Australia Pty Ltd

Hadley Australia and Series Australia Pty Ltd are the leading quality theatre chair manufacturers in the southern hemisphere. The businesses work closely with architects, interior designers and…

read more

Arts / Culture / Design / Entertainment / Venues

 
 

GLADSTONE MRM

Gladstone Health & Leisure (Gladstone MRM Pty Ltd Australia) is a leading supplier of leisure management and fitness software and is endorsed by leading health and fitness professionals and…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Venues

 
 

Life Fitness

Life Fitness Cardio Life Fitness Strength Hammer Strength Group Cycling Rowers Certified Refurbished Freeweights Benches & Racks Flooring Life Fitness is the global leader in the fitness…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Technology / Wellness

 
 

SOLARWISE NSW DOLPHIN TECH

Solarwise NSW / Dolphin Tech were the first and are the largest Dolphin dealer in NSW with a full service facility and full range of spare parts "on the shelf". We also provide on site…

read more

Aquatics / Venues

 
 

SWIMPLEX AQUATICS

Swimplex Aquatics are a world-class company dedicated to the commercial pool, waterslide industry. We are Australian market leaders servicing all states Australia wide. Swimplex provide a full…

read more

Aquatics / Attractions / Design / Play / Waterparks

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business