Staying Active While Social Distancing: Questions and Answers

Posted on April 7, 2020 by ODPHP

Why is it important for me to be active?

Physical activity can provide immediate benefits. Physical activity can help to boost your mood, reduce stress, improve sleep, and sharpen your focus — benefits that can be especially important during stressful times. Physical activity can also help you live a longer, healthier life by reducing the risk of many common chronic diseases, like type 2 diabetes and some cancers.

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Tips for Helping Older Adults Maintain Good Health at Home

By NRPA’s Healthy Aging in Parks Team | Posted on April 3, 2020

This is certainly an unprecedented time that has impacted our way of life in many ways. The aging service network is one network that has been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic as efforts to keep older adults safe are implemented. But, there is no doubt that innovation comes in the midst of crisis, and local park and recreation professionals are moving full steam ahead to revamp and adapt to this new reality. Many park and recreation agencies have started to offer virtual programming and it has been rather exciting to hear and read about your strategies.

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The National Recreation and Park Association Statement on Playgrounds and Play Structures During COVID-19 Pandemic (March 30, 2020)

Nationally, more cities and states have implemented shelter in place orders, closed schools and businesses, and taken crucial measures to protect public health and slow the spread of COVID-19. As these changes in policy and practice have been implemented, many questions regarding the safety of public playgrounds and play structures have emerged.
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) understands the important value playgrounds and play structures provide to communities across the country, especially for children. But, given the current situation and the guidance from public health officials on physical distancing, limiting in-person social interactions, avoiding spaces where people congregate in close quarters, and the concerns around transmission of the virus being spread through surfaces, we believe that playgrounds and play structures should temporarily close in an effort to reduce community spread.

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How to Communicate to Your Public about Safe Use of Parks

By Roxanne Sutton | Posted on April 1, 2020

It’s a paradox unlike any we’ve dealt with before. Parks and open spaces are being lauded for their mental and physical health benefits, while at the same time are being scrutinized for whether or not the public can continue to use them safely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Keeping our parks and green spaces open and accessible relies upon everyone following public health best practices to stop the spread of COVID-19. Not everyone has a backyard or private green space, so people are turning to America’s backyard — our public parks and open spaces — in this time of crisis.

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Dog Parks: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

They’re called dog parks or dog runs. Sometimes they’re official, sometimes they’re formed by a group of people who want their dogs to play together. Some dog parks are large—acres or miles of paths—but most are less than an acre in size, and some are tiny. Some are flat gravel or dirt, while others have picnic tables, trees, and other objects.
What all dog parks have in common is the reason for their existence. Dogs (and their owners) need a place where they can run free, sans leashes, and do “doggie” things. Many of their owners have no yards and the dogs would otherwise spend their entire outdoor lives on leash. Read More