Play in urban spaces for health (PUSH)

Theme Diet and physical activity

Workstream Population diet and physical activity

Status: This project is ongoing

Playing outdoors is a good way for children to get physically active. It helps their health, fitness and overall wellbeing. Physical play can also improve their cognitive, social and emotional development by making them interact with peers and use their imagination.

However, access to outdoor play areas in an urban environment can be challenging. For example, over 50 per cent of households in central Bradford don’t have access to a private or shared garden.

The Play in Urban Spaces for Health (PUSH) project is aimed at designing play into urban spaces such as built-up areas and concrete spaces, where children live, shop and go to school. Making these urban spaces more play-friendly could involve:

  • Moving away from traditional play equipment
  • Thinking more about landscaping
  • Incorporating playable features into the urban environment

This project aims to address the inequities in access to play spaces in urban areas of Bradford and Tower Hamlets, as these areas are affected by high deprivation and poor health outcomes.

Project aims

During this project, our colleagues at the Bradford Institute for Health Research will:

  • Design the intervention
  • Investigate how to influence policy level change
  • Explore how to support the development of sites suitable for the PUSH intervention
  • Identify ways of evaluating the intervention

What we hope to achieve

This project will inform the development of a wider program of work aimed at increasing children’s physical activity and play in urban environments located in areas of deprivation, leading to improved health and well-being.