(Nick Ray / The Times)

Around the world, health care costs are going up and up. And with the massive baby boomer population bulge entering their senior years, some governments / businesses / insurance companies are looking for new & creative ways to reduce health care costs.

One of those creative solutions is the construction of public (free) fitness parks (playgrounds) aimed at adults. In England, a new Senior Playground has recently been built by a coalition of community activists (Knightsbridge association) and two levels of government agencies.

And this isn’t England’s first “senior playground”. They are popping up all over the country.

And England certainly isn’t the first country to take this sort of initiative. Parks such as these can be found throughout China, Hong Kong, Macau, Korea…

Credit: Christopher Wanjek

And yet, in my home country of Canada, all three levels of government ignore initiatives such as this in favor of spending millions on marketing campaigns urging Canadians to exercise more and billions on treating lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes and obesity.

Instead of giving Participaction $3,000,000 per year for a website and some online commercials…

…they could build 50 fitness parks per year.

Or, if they were really serious, they could siphon off 1/1000th of the approx. $183 billion (2009) spent nationally on health care and build 3,050 new fitness parks per year.

($183 B ÷1000 ÷$60,000 per park = 3050 new fit parks)

And who knows, maybe the cost of the new fit parks will actually result in a net savings for government as the costs associated with obesity and related lifestyle diseases decrease.

As your Grandma used to say, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.