CANARY WHARF Councillor Maium Miah has been trying to unravel Council bureaucracy and get to the bottom of how the Council decides where it is going to install outdoor gyms. Now he’s asked the public to help him have a gym installed in Sir John McDougal Park on the Isle of Dogs.
The main attraction of an outdoor gym is easy access which is free at the point of use. Cllr Miah has highlighted research conducted by Liverpool John Moores University which found that:
•75% or more of participants believed that outdoor gyms are easily accessible to them;
•participants believe outdoor gyms are beneficial for their health;
•a majority thought that outdoor gyms are enjoyable to use – 70% of participants find exercising outdoors is more beneficial for health than exercising indoors, and 80% of participants find exercise more enjoyable outdoors than indoors.
Cllr Miah has added his own list of positives about outdoor gyms:
•they help reduce the incidence of obesity – encouraging healthy living for all;
•they provide exercise equipment which is free at the point of use, enabling those who do not have the money for a gym membership to exercise;
•outdoor gyms are family friendly. They are a great way for parents to encourage their children to exercise. Even if children are too young to use the equipment themselves, seeing adults working out in an environment that they are familiar with helps to make this seem like a natural part of daily life. As well as this, outdoor gym equipment in parks is an ideal way for families with older children to get out and exercise together.
Cllr Miah clearly believes that outdoor public gyms enhance the local area, have positive impact on the public health locally and can improve the quality and versatility of its green and open spaces. He would like to see the decision on where to install these being made in a transparent manner by the Mayor – but as there is no clear process yet, he has begun a public petition. He is calling on Canary Wharf residents to sign it, but he also welcomes signatures from other people who are committed to residents being allowed a say and to the pursuit of public health.
•To sign Cllr Miah’s petition, Campaign for Outdoor Gym in Sir John McDougal Park, Westferry Road, E14, go to:
Petition for an outdoor gym in Sir John McDougal Park