Friday, February 10, 2006

Jungle gym therapy for seniors

Researchers in Finland found that people over 65 years of age who played on playground equipment over a 3-month period experienced "significant improvements in balance, speed, and co-ordination."


In fact, a Finnish company has begun selling the idea of "three-generational play"—playground equipment made not only for children but also for their parents and grandparents.


The researchers also make interesting cross-culture comparisons about parents' attitudes toward this type of play:


In tests on groups from different countries, the Germans were found to be fondest of having the generations play together. ... [French] parents frequently cleaned the dirt from the children's' hands and ensured they did not play with toys that had been brought in by other children. The British were the most laissez-faire. But overall, the Scandinavians seemed to be more relaxed about rough and tumble.

—Mellow Monk


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