Tapping School Facilities for Community Health

Tapping School Facilities for Community Health: Joint-Use Agreements

By Amy Winterfeld Vol . 19, No. 24 / April-May 2011

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Physical activity has many benefits.

Physical activity promotes good health and reduces the risk of chronic disease. Exercise can help control weight, reduce the risk of heart disease and some cancers, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve mental health. Physical inactivity, on the other hand, can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Lawmakers can play a role in increasing community places for physical activity, that may, in turn, contribute to better health and lower health care costs. Many communities lack safe places to exercise and play near where people live and work. Opening school fields, tracks, courts, playgrounds and gymnasiums to the public, when not in use by students, is a low-cost way to encourage more people to be physically active and to achieve maximum value for dollars appropriated by legislators for school facilities.


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