Guidance about age-friendly outdoor exercise equipment and associated strategies to maximise usability for older people

Pazit Levinger, Maya Panisset, Helen Parker, Frances Batchelor, Marian Tye, Keith D. Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalComment / DebateOtherpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Outdoor exercise equipment has become popular as important environmental infrastructure to provide opportunities for physical activity and social connectedness in public settings. With higher sedentary behaviour and physical inactivity reported among older people, infrastructure changes and safe environments that promote older peoples’ health and mobility are required. Due to ageing-related functional decline and health conditions associated with ageing, older adults may have special physical needs that require careful consideration when choosing outdoor equipment. However, limited information is available regarding the suitability of the types of exercise equipment for older people. This commentary provides further information on the type of equipment available, its functionality and suitability for older age populations and key considerations for the decision-maker involved in selecting, installing and supporting community use of outdoor exercise equipment. Recommendations on what is required to maximise usability from a system or organisational-based approach using research evidence is also discussed. Older people are more susceptible to the negative influences of their local environment and outdoor neighbourhood conditions. Consequently, the age-friendliness and suitability of the outdoor exercise equipment characteristics, location and settings may facilitate older adults’ engagement in physical and social activities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-482
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • ageing
  • built environment
  • exercise
  • local government
  • older people
  • physical activity

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