Despite heroic efforts to get more people into health clubs, private and public health measures have failed thus far to significantly increase our abysmally low rates of physical activity. This paper explores the Lean ways in which parks and a variety of everyday spaces can be utilized, designed, and built to encourage people to move more. The particular focus is on presenting and utilizing existing outdoor public furniture and other features for the additional purpose of “exercise equipment,” with little to no added expense or maintenance. This “open gym” approach to exercise space is recommended as a Lean means to improve health, increase sociability, and even spur economic development, serving as magnets for related and complementary businesses, as active, safe parks have the potential to encourage revitalization of nearby properties.read more
Nancy Bruning, MPH, is a certified Physical Activity in Public Health Specialist. Since 2004, Nancy has been opening people’s minds about what is possible by leveraging resources and thinking about them in a new way. Through utilizing existing park infrastructure and features, fitness mapping, and programs and events she promotes the use of naturally occurring exercise circuits. The result is a low-cost, sustainable active lifestyle for community residents and workplace employees of all ages and abilities. She now trains people who are not certified fitness professionals to lead their own groups as well, spreading fitness knowledge and skills throughout a community. She is also a popular public speaker and the author of over 20 books on health, fitness, and urban design; her most recent is “Nancercize: 101 Things to Do on a Park Bench.” She is the creator of Green Gym Day, an international annual invitation for everyone to get out and play.