When officials in Clark County Ohio learned their community ranked 74th out of 88 counties in state health standards, they decided to take action. Working with the Ohio Department of Health and Creating Healthy Communities Program, the County took steps to improve access to and create opportunities for physical activity. One of those steps was the creation of an outdoor fitness park along the bike path in the center of town.
Sarah Dahlinghaus is a health educator with the Clark County Combined Health District. She said the location of the fitness park was important, because county officials wanted it to be centrally located and easy for people to access.
“It came back full circle that we needed something free and convenient for people to come and be active,” she said.
The fitness park, known as Warder Fit Stop includes GTfit cardio, core, strength and balance equipment designed by GameTime. The fitness area is in a free, outdoor park that is right off the bike path in downtown Springfield, at the corner of Warder and North Limestone streets.
Making the park convenient removed one barrier to improving the community health. Making it free to the public removed another.
"The cost of staying fit — such as gym fees — is a barrier many people in the city face," Dahlinghaus said. "Planners wanted the new park to be accessible to everyone, no matter what income level."
The new GameTime fitness park in Springfield, Ohio is a great example of how communities can provide opportunities for adults to be more active outdoors, remove barriers to better health and wellness, and move fitness forward.