Studies show that people who have parks or recreational facilities nearby exercise 38 percent more than those who don't have easy access. Unfortunately safe places to get physical activity aren’t always available—but they could be. Schools are present in nearly every Ohio community and can offer a variety of safe, clean facilities, including running tracks, pools, gymnasiums, fitness rooms, and playgrounds. Unfortunately, schools that might like to offer these facilities to their communities often close their property to the public after school hours due to concerns about liability. Shared use legislation would not mandate that schools open their facilities after hours, but would simply alleviate concerns around liability for those that would like to provide access to the surrounding community.
We know the many benefits of increased physical activity, especially for school-aged children---reduced obesity, better overall health and improved academic performance. Send a message now to help remove barriers to Ohio's schools opening their facilities after hours so that everyone, particularly our kids, can have access to a safe and familiar environment in which to play and get exercise.