Article published on 3 March 2023

Every year, many new groundbreaking studies build on the body of research showing us the positive effects activity can have on physical, mental, and social wellbeing. Further underlining the importance of including physical activity as part of our daily routine throughout our lives. Additionally, it is clear from the insights that positive experiences of sports, undertaken at an early age help build the foundations for an active life.

WHO (The World Health Organisation) recommends that Children and teenagers should undertake an average of 60 minutes of activity a day across the week, with this being of at least moderate intensity. They recommend that adults and elderly persons complete at least 30 minutes of dynamic physical activity every day, together with two weekly sessions designed to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility and improve balance. 

Whether occurring among children, adults, or the elderly, the practice of physical and sports activities in the UK unfortunately still falls short of the WHO’s recommendations – Currently, 40.6% of men play sports at least once a week, compared to 30.7% of women. According to Sports England, one in four people in England does less than 30 minutes of activity a week. Conversely, the experience on the continent in Finland, Germany, and the Netherlands is that this trend can and has been reversed and coupled with engaging messaging and opportunities to get young people involved with sports to make a real difference.

“The benefits of physical and sporting activity” represented by corresponding simplistic cartoons: A red heart labelled “Strengthens the health of the heart”, a green battery labelled “Boosts energy levels”, a blue person labelled “Improves mental health”, a pink brain labelled “Stimulates the brain”, a light pink head with gears labelled “Improves attention / concentration”

What are the main motivations to participate in sports? 

For several decades, the practice of physical and sporting activities has primarily centred on health, leisure, and socialising with less emphasis solely on performance. More recently enjoyment and wellbeing have risen to the forefront to become the key motivations that encourage more and more people to take part in sports activities. 

Ideally, moving and outdoor exercising must not be viewed as an obligation but as something positive for the individual. We exercise when we want, where we want, at our own pace, and in line with what we can achieve, ideally based on a pre-planned programme of exercise for ourselves. 

Recreational or fun sport, movement through play 

As Proludic knows only too well, playing is universal; it links together all the generations and can encourage active lifestyles within a recreational and sharing context. This approach can not only be fun but can also be sociable if approached with the correct mindset! Through its unique new ACTI’Fun concept, a fun-sport approach is applied where play is central to the appeal of the outdoor fitness activity. This can lead to long-lasting results.

Cartoons representing aspects of life “all enriched by taking part in outdoor exercise”. “Boosts the immune system, Reduces stress and improves the mood, Increases the supply of vitamin D, Improves sleep, Boosts creativity, Promotes connection with the environment and other people, Is accessible to everyone, Is available free of charge”

The playground is one of the most important spaces where children discover the pleasure of moving, while also developing their motor, sensory and recreational skills. It is this enjoyment of physical activity that must be encouraged in adolescence and beyond. Recreational sport is one way to encourage movement in everyday routines from a very early age and give everyone the desire to adopt good lifestyle habits in the long term, while outdoor fitness and activity are another.

This is why Proludic is working closely with the leading experts in the world of sport and wellbeing to deliver these benefits to our end-users. From individual wellbeing to general public use, Proludic has devoted its expertise to encouraging the practice of physical and sporting activity through play via this new concept. 

Proludic’s “Fitness for all” ACTI’Street Inclusive Module (J5223). A wheelchair inclusive adult climbing exercise station module with multiple heights of dip bar and monkey bars

Through the ACTI’Fun concept, several fun-sport motivations trigger enjoyment when engaging in physical activity using this equipment:

Table demonstrating the Various ways Prolduci’s Acti’Ninja, Acti’Street, and Acti’Fit benefit users through a design focus on with the Acti’Fun app, multimedia, sensations, progressive design, sharing, diversity, challenge

ACTI’Ninja trails are thrilling obstacle courses promoting an active lifestyle for children (aged 6 years), teenagers and adults. They consist of modules (individual sections of children’s outdoor play equipment) that can be combined to create unique timed trails. A stopwatch is started when the user crosses the start line and stopped when they cross the finish line. The user must use strength, balance, endurance and dexterity to beat the clock and challenge their friends to the daring time trials!

ACTI’Street Workout equipment has been designed by working together with the World Street Workout and Calisthenics Federation (WSWCF). The combination of bars set at different heights with different grips ensure this is an inclusive workout for all genders and includes wheelchair-accessible training. Users implement their own body weight when exercising across several sets of bars. This equipment can be used for pullups, dips, push-ups and squats to build muscle and tone.

Proludic ACTI’Fit equipment consists of a range of items used in sports environments for an enjoyable, athletic outdoor gym experience. This range of outdoor gym equipment is ergonomically optimised to provide access for all and permit multiple applications both when exercising and relaxing. It offers a free and accessible fitness experience that encourages females into the space creating a strong community facility supporting health and wellbeing of all users.

Proludic has undertaken its own research around the importance of sustained exercise across all age groups and has identified the key element for remaining focussed and committed to a fitness programme. We found the fun and enjoyment aspects are as important as the movement generated by the activity. The ACTI’Fun concept will provide the opportunity for the wider community to benefit from this thereby enhancing their health and wellbeing.

We are regularly updated with new medical research telling us the many benefits that can be realised by including regular exercise in one’s lifestyle, thereby reducing the burden upon the NHS in later life. Moreover, the importance of having positive outdoor fitness experiences when being active and playing sports from a young age can help to build the foundations for an active lifestyle in the future.

However, the evidence is clear that not everyone likes to play sports to keep themselves active and recommended times to maintain healthy lifestyles are not being adhered to nationally. Reports from Sports England, that one in four people in England does less than 30 minutes of activity a week and that the legacy supposedly created by the London 2012 filtering down to grassroots sports never materialised need to be taken on board when designing community solutions to the problem. ACTI’Fun is designed to help circumnavigate these issues. Click here to find out more about this revolutionary outdoor workout equipment.

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