Two activity trails opened as a pilot programme of the Hessian Ministry for Social Affairs

On 1 June 2011, the state of Hessen opened an activity trail for adults in Hanau, supplied by playfit®.

Two activity trails opened as a pilot programme of the Hessian Ministry for Social Affairs

In a three-month test phase, 50 volunteers will test the activity trails under the guidance and evaluation of experts. Three universities, JWG University of Frankfurt, Darmstadt University and RheinMain University, as well as the Landessportbund Hessen e.V. (Hessian State Sports Association), are responsible for the scientific supervision. The results should be trend-setting for the development and use of further activity trails in Hessen and Germany.

“Exercise is a significant factor in health promotion and maintenance – and in all situations in life. In particular, against the background of an aging population, the importance of having a healthy lifestyle earlier in life is even more important. Those who live their lives actively and independently and who can participate in social life, will, in all probability, remain healthy for longer physically and emotionally. Therefore, I’m pleased to be able to hand over this activity trail to the public today,” said the Hessian Social Affairs Minister, Stefan Gr├╝ttner, at the opening of the activity trail in Hanau. He stressed that “healthy prevention is one of the important socio-political cross-cutting tasks, which affects many individual political areas, networks and requires perfectly coordinated concepts.”

At the opening in Hanau, Prof. Dr. Volker Beck, of the Faculty of Social Science and Social work at the University of Darmstadt explained: “Through psychological interactions, the quality of life and the vitality of the participants are promoted, are stimulated on a sustained basis and are stabilised. Scientific knowledge points to the fact that sports activity can result in a reduction in angst and depression, increased stress tolerance, an improvement in prevailing wood and fundamentally greater satisfaction can be achieved. The social dimension also plays a significant role in this process. The activity trail offers people the chance to meet when exercising and undertaking sport and shows the red card to social isolation, exclusion and stigmatization in life.”

“Measuring achievable effects objectively in three months is very important scientifically and politically, and will contribute to establishing attractive sports and fitness activities for older people and facilitate access to physical activity and a healthier way of life,” stresses Prof. Dr. Lutz Vogt of the Department of Sports Medicine at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. Hanau is pleased to be the pilot town for the new fitness programme, explains Claus Kaminsky, Mayor of the town of Hanau: “The low-intensity and thoroughly interactive range of activities for people who aren’t that sporty or active goes well with our efforts of focussing on the interests of older people in a long-life society and also with health prevention.”

The State Sports Associate of Hessen welcomes the establishment of activity trails for older people in public parkways which are easily accessible as an expansion of infrastructures for sport and fitness activities. “They can be a useful supplement to the existing spectrum of clubs, particularly if there is advice and introduction to the use of the equipment made available,” emphasises Dr. Susanne Lapp, Vice President of the State Sports Association. “Therefore, together with Sportkreis Hanau and the local sports clubs, we will ensure that temporary fitness advisors are available for the activity trails. We will encourage the clubs to use new sports facilities creatively and integrate them into their organisational structure.”

At the Hessentag 2011 event, two activity trails were installed on the exhibition site of the Hessian Ministry for Social Affairs, which served as the starting point and arrival point for the action “Hessen is on the move – 3000 steps for health”. For ten days, visitors had the chance to try out this attractive fitness facility. For a number of years now, playfit® (www.playfit.de) has been offering, with its approximately 400 locations, a suitable concept-building block, which supports the mentioned targets and offers a chance to motivate people to undertake health-beneficial exercise in the fresh air. Quality of life and vitality should be promoted – consequently, the playfit® activity trail is can be seen as a place for exercise and communication.


Photos: Playfit
 

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