According to recent statistics, childhood obesity has doubled since the 90’s and has quadrupled for teenagers. Parkour parks that challenge and inspire the participants to push themselves physically and mentally can help combat this growing issue… but what is Parkour?
Parkour: An athletic activity based on creating and attempting movement challenges in a built environment using jumping, climbing, and acrobatic techniques. Sometimes referred to as “Freerunning”.
Benefits of Parkour:
Promotes Creativity: Parkour is all about finding your own path. Participants learn to create their own challenges and see their environment with new eyes.
Inspires Commitment: There’s no clock, no team, in parkour the drive to get better comes from within.
Builds Confidence: Parkour requires you to move differently, to try new things. There is nothing quite as satisfying as completing a jump that looked impossible two weeks before.
The best parkour spaces allow athletes to create challenges that integrate multiple categories of movement. Parkour parks should include elements that enable jumping, valuting, and climbing movements, and position those elements so they can easily interact.
- Elevated bars for swinging
- Waist high elements for vaulting
- Medium to high elements for climbing
One of parkour’s bests features is its accessibility, and parkour park design should support that. Regardless of someone’s fitness level or experience with parkour, they should be able to find that it is fun and challenging for them.
“Parkour is for Everybody and Every Body”
Colin MacDonald, Parkour Master
Obstacle Courses vs. Parkour
With each obstacle designed to be completed in the same manner and order, obstacle courses can only support a narrow band of skill ranges . Outside of these, the course is either are too difficult to complete or too easy to provide challenge and hold interest.
Because parkour parks encourage free-form movement exploration and play, they can be used and enjoyed by a wider range of skill levels without becoming too simple or easy for advanced athletes.
Outside of the obstacle race itself, obstacle course equipment can be difficult to use for alternative forms of play. Additionally, courses can only support a few concurrent users, and alternative use of a single element renders the whole course unusable
Parkour parks’ design and aesthetic encourages play and fitness use outside of parkour itself. And since challenges can be found in many areas of the park, multiple small groups can use the same structure at one time without their use conflicting