A new scheme to overhaul public parks in Sydney with access to free fitness equipment has been announced, in a bid to combat health issues and promote healthier living in urban areas.
A range of new fitness equipment will be installed across City of Sydney parks in a bid to encourage more exercise in the city and tackle health problems caused by sedentary lifestyles.
Up to six new fitness stations for all ages and abilities will be gradually rolled out, improving on and adding to existing facilities, to ensure a free and easy outdoor workout station lies no more than 800m away from the public no matter where they live.
Fixed body-weight equipment, such as chin-up bars and step-up benches, and other structures with space for ropes, harnesses and bands will provide residents, visitors and workers more convenient exercise-options.
The City currently provides outdoor fitness equipment in the following parks: Observatory Hill Park, Millers Point; Wentworth Park, Glebe; Sydney Park, St Peters; Prince Alfred Park, Surry Hills; Bicentennial Park, Glebe; Perry Park, Alexandria; Bourke Street Park, Woolloomooloo; an South Sydney Rotary Park, Erskineville.
New drinking fountains, seating, bike racks and landscaping will add to the convenience and offer more incentive to get out and work up a sweat.
“Low levels of physical activity are linked to obesity and chronic diseases, so it’s important the City provides plenty of safe, inclusive facilities for fitness and physical exercise, especially with so many residential apartments in our area,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore said.
“Almost 60 per cent of Australians are either sedentary or have low levels of physical activity, but access to large, high quality and attractive open spaces with the right facilities can increase levels of physical exercise.”
The first site set for new equipment will be Rosebery’s Turruwul Park, with more likely to follow over time in Glebe, Alexandria, Pyrmont, Surry Hills, Erskineville, Green Square, Chippendale, Waterloo, Millers Point and Potts Point.
New exercise facilities across the City’s parks will also help preserve the seating, trees and turf that have become popular to regular exercisers.
The City’s long-term Park Fitness Exercise Plan follows surveys of 237 people at selected parks in March. In interviews, community members described equipment they would like to use as well as ideal locations and layouts.
Other parks in line for new equipment under the program include: Alexandria Park, Waterloo Park, Observatory Hill Park, and Pirrama Park.