Children who play on playgrounds that incorporate natural elements like logs and flowers tend to be more active than those who play on traditional playgrounds with metal and brightly colored equipment, according to a recent UT study.What matters is if the kids end-up healthier and/or better off in some way over time.
They also appear to use their imagination more, according to the report.
The study, which examined changes in physical activity levels and patterns in young children exposed to both traditional and natural playgrounds, is among the first of its kind in the United States, according to Dawn Coe, assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies.
"Natural playgrounds have been popping up around the country but there was nothing conclusive on if they work," she said. "Now, we know."
"Natural playscapes appear to be a viable alternative to traditional playgrounds for school and community settings," Coe said. "Future studies should look at these changes long-term as well as the nature of the children's play."Of course, this was not evaluated.