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  • Writer's pictureLauren McDougall

The benefits of Monkey Bars!

Did you know that climbing on playground equipment and monkey bars is a great form of exercise for children and young people, and has a whole range of benefits?


As part of the physical activity recommendations, children and adolescents between the ages of 5-17 should be engaging in muscle strengthening activities at least 3 days per week. Monkey bars and climbing on playground equipment can tick this box, and provide so many additional benefits!


STRENGTH

  • several groups of muscles are working to swing, climb and reach including your core, legs, shoulders, back, arms and muscles in your hands used for fine motor skills and grip strength. Before you can develop fine, or gross, motor skills, an individual requires stability centrally and in their large muscle groups.

IMPROVING OUR SENSES

  • the vestibular system and proprioceptive systems are important for balance, spatial orientation and body awareness.

  • Playing on a playground, particularly swinging, are particularly good inputs to the vestibular system.

  • Resistance and input into the muscles are best for developing proprioception, so all the climbing and handing is great for developing, and regulating, proprioception.

HAND EYE COORDINATION

  • swinging from one bar to the next on the monkey bars helps to develop hand-eye coordination. It's also great for visual perception, as you have to look where to place your hands and feet when climbing.

MOTOR PLANNING AND PROBLEM SOLVING

  • monkey bars and playground climbing equipment provide an opportunity for problem solving skills, and figuring out how to navigate their way through various obstacles.

CONFIDENCE

  • Being able to climb and use monkey bars can have a big impact on playground confidence, and both willingness and ability, to participate with others.


So, with all these benefits, next time you're looking for something active to do, head down to the local playground!


However, this stuff is HARD! While there is plenty of benefits, the strength and require to even use playground equipment is significant, and often kids can struggle. If your child needs some extra help, speak to one of our Exercise Physiologists today!


Phone: 0431 048 684

Address: 307 Payneham Road, Royston Park SA 5070






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