Sunshine Gym News Round Up

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Working in the fitness industry, research and development is a key part of our work to open up fitness for everybody.
At Sunshine Gym we believe in breaking down barriers to exercise so people of all abilities, backgrounds and fitness levels have equal and inclusive access to outdoor gym facilities.
Here’s some of the latest news to feed into our product and service development.

Broxap logoBroxap logo

Our parent company, Broxap Ltd is featuring on the front of the Stoke City Academy kit as the headline sponsor for all age group teams from under-9s to under-18s. It comes after Broxap sponsored the first team back in the 95/96 season!
Read about it on the Stoke City FC website

NHS LogoNHS Logo

Did you know the NHS advises that children aged between 5 and 18 years old should aim for around 60 minutes of physical activity per day, every day? 
This can be done through taking part in the PE curriculum, walking, cycling, swimming etc. Regular exercise strengthens the bones and muscles in the body.
Sunshine Gym's children's outdoor gym equipment supports a variety of child-friendly workouts, PE courses, and active break and play times to help students meet the guidelines.

Sunshine Gym LogoSunshine Gym Logo

Here are three reasons why an outdoor gym from Sunshine Gym can help unite a community.
1. The equipment can be accessed all year round. Our teams can install an outdoor gym facility in schools, colleges, local parks, leisure spaces, residential estates… anywhere people can share a sense of community.
2. Our equipment is accessible to everyone. We tailor our outdoor gym equipment to meet the needs and abilities of everyone. Our inclusive outdoor fitness range features a variety of accessible equipment, suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.
3. The benefits of exercising outdoors. Exercising outdoors alone has its own benefits. By taking your workout outside, you’re exposed to fresh air, a natural setting, and sunlight which is proven to improve the mood and reduce stress levels. You’re also able to socialise with others in your community who share the same physical aspirations as you. Multi gyms are a great way to exercise with others. They provide different workouts at each station and are specifically designed to increase social engagement when working out.

Stanley Grange GarageStanley Grange Garage

Stanley Grange Community Association is a charitable organisation who provide a home to adults with learning disabilities and complex needs. Working with chosen partner Future Directions CIC, Stanley Grange Community Association was able to install seven pieces of outdoor gym equipment, through a grant given by The National Lottery Community Fund. They were really happy with the super fast installation completed by our skilled installations team. The residents have been enjoying their time socialising and working out on these new machines.

Sunshine Gym LogoSunshine Gym Logo

Ever heard of exercise snacking? It means taking time out of your day to complete a series of short exercises. These can be done from home, don’t usually require a warm up, nor do they require a cool down. Though these are short sessions, you are still likely to feel the benefit, just as with any other exercise. The point of exercise snacking is to make your workout not feel as demanding.
For example, the Double Health Walker is one of our more popular outdoor fitness equipment. It allows users of various abilities to complete a gentle workout, without putting too much stress on your joints. It is perfect for rehabilitation and improves balance, flexibility, and coordination in the body.

London Loves BusinessLondon Loves Business

According to London loves Business, around 58% of UK residents have decided to no longer participate in sports or fitness classes due to the cost-of-living crisis. 
What if your local had a free outdoor gym to use? We have completed work in a variety of sectors. We are experienced in working with local authorities and parish councils to design and install outdoor gym facilities in public areas to help people remain fit. Our outdoor gym and fitness equipment are perfect for parks and public spaces. It has been specially designed for public use by anyone of any fitness level.

Community FundCommunity Fund

The National Lottery Community Fund has a funding programme where the aim is to build stronger connections across communities. They’re looking for project ideas to bring people together and build healthier communities. With an ongoing deadline, this funding is open to all voluntary and community organisations across the entire UK, with a maximum fund of up to £1 million for up to 5 years.
We deliver outdoor gym projects in the hope of improving communities and strengthening social cohesion. Out teams have worked in communities across the UK to achieve this goal.
Read more about us to see how we can play a part in helping your community to grow stronger and closer here.
Click here to apply for funding.

Women's Health MagazineWomen's Health Magazine

Having a healthy, balanced diet is a key part of working out and keeping fit.
Women's Health Magazine discussed the impact of low calorie diets and how nutrition plays a key role in a weight loss journey.
Read more here:

Sunshine Gym logoSunshine Gym logo

In terms of the curriculum, using outdoor exercise equipment in schools is a prime example of forward-thinking, providing both teachers and pupils with a way to combine creativity with standard teaching methods, preparing them both for an enjoyable academic experience. Students have the chance to learn more and stay interested when taking breaks throughout the day to exercise outdoors.
We understand the need for exercise in students, and as a leading designer and supplier of outdoor gym equipment, we offer packages for schools to help support this cause. Our package range is full of well-manufactured outdoor exercise equipment and has a variety of equipment to suit your workout objective(s).

The Washington Post NewspaperThe Washington Post Newspaper

Studies have shown that exercising outdoors as often as possible for at least 15 minutes can allow one to concentrate more and respond faster. This article by The Washington post highlights the benefits of exercising outdoors. 
Read it here:

Kantar logoKantar logo

Studies by Kantar shows that 37% of people in the UK have never exercised or played sports. What is this due to? Though many have agreed to having local facilities and clubs to encourage them, they feel they’re not presented with the opportunities to exercise more.
At Sunshine Gym, we strive to help everyone become more physically active.
We can install an outdoor gym in a mixture of outdoor settings, bringing communities together for a fun workout.

University of StirlingUniversity of Stirling

Taking breaks from classroom learning to exercise outdoors has proven to be the key to improving children’s memory, attention, and wellbeing. Back in 2020, University of Stirling carried out a research where they discovered that “pupils are more alert, feel better and pay better attention after self-paced physical activity when compared to just sitting.” Whether running, walking, or exercising on a piece of equipment, teachers immediately felt that the pupils who exercised outdoors were more alert than those who didn’t exercise.
That said, more schools are encouraging children to take time outside classrooms and exercise. We provide the perfect alternative to help schools support this initiative. Our primary school packages focus on developing fitness and improving balance and coordination whilst keeping it fun!

April is Stress Awareness Month – an opportunity to raise awareness of the causes of stress and the positive changes that can be made to bring about change.
This year the Stress Management Society is focusing on the changes that can be brought in to make things better.
Exercise is known to reduce levels of stress hormones – an ideal positive action to improve quality of life.

This Girl Can has launched the next phase of its campaign to create environments where women can enjoy taking part in sports.
In comes after Sport England research shows nearly half of women in England (47%) didn’t enjoy PE activities, compared to only 26% of men.
In a blog by boxing champion Nicola Adams, she advises fitness environments should be:

  • Social
  • Meet the needs of users
  • Encourage confidence
  • Safe

This is an issue we really feel strongly about and we work hard together with our clients to create engaging, fun, social and motivational outdoor gym facilities.
Read the blog from Nicola Adams here: 

A study led by researchers from the universities of Edinburgh, Strathclyde, Bristol, and Georgia in the United States has found children who exercise regularly could see improvements in their mental health and behaviour.
Engaging in regular moderate to vigorous physical activity at age 11 was associated with better mental health between the ages of 11 and 13, the study found.
Physical activity was also associated with reduced hyperactivity and behavioural problems, such as loss of temper, fighting with other children, lying and stealing, in young people.
Professor John Reilly, at the University of Strathclyde, said: “While it might seem obvious that physical activity improves mental health the evidence for such a benefit in children and young people has been scarce, so the study findings are important. 
“The findings are also important because levels of moderate-to-vigorous intensity activity globally are so low in pre-teens globally- less than a third achieve the 60 minutes per day recommended by the WHO and UK Health Departments.”
This study has been published at the same time Daniel Goddard, divisional manager here at Sunshine Gym, has written for the Association of PE, explaining how good physical activity habits instilled in young children need to continue beyond Years 5 and 6.
We work with all types of communities – schools, workplaces, secure units, local neighbourhoods – to deliver fitness for everybody.
If your high school or college needs support to get young people interested in exercise, give our team a call! 

As big advocates of fitness for everybody we were interested to read the ‘factors for success’ published by Women in Sport.
It comes of the back of its latest research, published in March, which found evidence that some girls as young as five believe they don’t belong in sport.
The influence of family, friends the media and gender stereotypes are said to be behind a loss of confidence and self-belief among some girls.
Its advice includes:

  • Encouraging teachers, parents and others to surround girls with messages of positivity, building an expectation that they will do well
  • Building girls’ skills early by offering a level playing field to all sports in schools
  • Developing an understanding of the strength and ability of girls, rather than ‘dumb down’ sports for them
  • Providing more opportunities for girls in PE at school and in the community with environments where girls are made to feel welcome
  • Investing in closing the skills and confidence gap between girls and boys in school and in after school clubs.

While we work with lots of schools to promote the benefits of an outdoor gym workout, we believe that people of all ages  have a lot to gain from access to outdoor fitness facilities.
As well as the mental health benefits of being outdoors, we believe the right outdoor gym design can also support social cohesion and reduce loneliness.
It was interesting to read then that two separate studies found that maintaining strong social networks and keeping physically active can contribute to the avoidance of multiple long term health conditions for those in middle age.
One of the studies, led by University College London, even suggests that taking up exercise in your 60s is better than doing nothing at all when it comes to improving cognitive function.
Read more about the studies here: 

Among the big health stories in March was a study from the University of Cambridge which found that if everyone did as little as 11 minutes of daily activity, one in 10 premature deaths could be prevented.
The NHS recommends a minimum 150 minutes of exercise a week.
But the latest study shows that while most people (two out of three) do less than this, completing some exercise rather than none still has a positive impact on health.
The research team looked at hundreds of previous studies on the benefits of physical activity and concluded that even doing half the recommended amount could prevent one in 20 cases of cardiovascular disease and nearly one in 30 cases of cancer.
That equates to 75 minutes per week - or 11 minutes per day - riding a bike, walking fast, hiking, dancing or playing tennis.
How about a quick blast at the outdoor gym?

We know there are so many benefits associated with exercising in the outdoors - but it is always interesting to read additional research into the subject.
An article in the International Journal of Psychophysiology this month reviewed a study which compared the brain activity of participants who completed a walk in three different environments: a natural green environment surrounded by trees, greenery and natural sounds; a virtual green environment where participants walked on a treadmill while watching and listening to a video of a campus trail; and an indoor environment where participants walked on a treadmill in front of a white wall.
Both the natural green and virtual green environments had a positive influence on the participants but the researchers said the natural green environment had a more pronounced effect.
It's good to bolster existing evidence that the presence of nature, even virtual nature, offers mental health benefits when exercising.
Even if outdoor gym users have only a few minutes to spare, it would seem they are maximising their workout results by heading to their nearest outdoor fitness zone.

Making physical activity fun, interesting and inclusive could be the key to schools successfully encouraging more pupils to exercise.
We work with primary schools across the UK to design and install outdoor gyms which not only get young people moving, but which encourage them to socialise and have fun at the same time.
Our outdoor gym equipment includes multi gyms and multi user stations, where groups of pupils can work out during PE lessons, break times and lunch times.
It's a design which appeals to even the most reluctant pupil. Before they know it they’ve completed an extra 15 minutes of physical activity while enjoying a catch up with their friends.
Our thoughts have been shared with Landscape & Amenity Product Update. 

Take a look:

Exercising in the morning, rather than the evening, may result in a more effective boost to metabolism.
A study from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and the University of Copenhagen shows physical activity at different times of the day can affect the body in different ways.
Although based on a study of mice, researchers believe the findings may be useful to those looking to lose weight through exercise.
The mice which exercised in the early active phase of the day – corresponding to morning for humans – increased their metabolism more than those which exercised at a time when they would usually rest.
Professor Juleen Zierath, a biologist at the Karolinska Institutet, said: “Our results suggest that late morning exercise could be more effective than late evening exercise in terms of boosting the metabolism and the burning of fat.
“And, if this is the case, they could prove of value to people who are overweight.
“The right timing seems to be important to the body's energy balance and to improving the health benefits of exercise.
“But more studies are needed to draw any reliable conclusions about the relevance of our findings to humans.”
At Sunshine Gym, we design outdoor gyms which can be accessed all year round, 24 hours a day meeting the needs of the communities they serve.
When is your favourite time to exercise?

The term ‘physical literacy’ is becoming more widely used, particularly in reference to school sport and PE provision.
According to the Primary School Physical Literacy Framework, physical literacy can be described as the “motivation, confidence, physical competence, knowledge and understanding that provides children with the movement foundation for lifelong participation in physical activity.”
In short it’s about educating young people so they engage in physical activity for life.
Active play, sports and PE all contribute to this, but activities should also consider emotional, physical and mental engagement.
Creating an environment which promotes engagement in physical activity is an effective approach.
At Sunshine Gym, we work with primary schools across the UK to revitalise their playgrounds and playing fields through the inclusion of an outdoor gym.
While our outdoor fitness facilities support the aims of the PE and Sport Premium through increased variety and capacity for activity, they also support physical literacy by increasing the opportunity for children to be active.
This can be through active play and lunch times or before and after school access. Outdoor gyms for primary schools are exciting and inclusive as all children of every level and ability can take part, improving confidence and skills.
Being outdoors also boosts mental health and has been shown to improve attainment, behaviour and attendance.
A Sunshine Gym is a sustainable investment to improve the physical literacy of future generations.

February 6th marked the start of Children’s Mental Health Week and this year’s theme was Let’s Connect.
Run by charity Place2Be, the week aims to raise awareness of the importance of good mental health and wellbeing for children and young people.
Place2Be hopes to drive home the message that healthy connections to family, friends and others have a positive impact in different areas of people’s lives reducing feelings of isolation and loneliness.
As part of the Broxap group of companies, we take pride in creating outdoor spaces where people can connect and enjoy shared experiences, from promenades to playgrounds.
In the Sunshine Gym division we also aim to bring people together, specialising in the design and installation of multi user outdoor gym stations and multi gyms.
This not only makes the outdoor fitness experience more enjoyable and more sociable, it means even more people can take advantage of the wellbeing benefits associated with an outdoor workout.
Being outdoors is shown to have a positive effect on wellbeing while taking part in physical activity, sports and exercise gets the endorphins pumping to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety.
In KS1 and KS2 settings, our outdoor gym equipment is encouraging active break and lunch times and supporting learning outside the classroom.
It's a great way to get children motivating each other and linking exercise with happiness so they form healthy habits for life.

We were really interested to read a blog from Make Space for Girls about how the style or layout of public seating can make all the difference to users, particularly in recreation spaces for young people.
The charitable organisation has been calling for more social seating in parks based on evidence from teenage girls.
It says there are lots of design solutions which appeal to teenagers to make these types of spaces more inclusive.
At Sunshine Gym we aim to create outdoor gyms which open up exercise to people of all ages, genders, backgrounds and abilities. 
And as part of the Broxap group of companies we have access to a wide range of complementary services and products to enhance the outdoor experience for everyone.
This includes surfacing, seating, canopies, signage, litter and recycling bins, cycle parking, even playground equipment – everything needed for a welcoming and inclusive community outdoor fitness facility.
Talk to our teams today about the added value we can deliver to your outdoor gym development.

The environment in which we exercise may be just as important as the exercise itself.
Scientific Reports has published an article this month exploring the interaction between exercise and environment on cognitive function.
It examined the effects of walking indoors and outdoors on cognition with participants asked to complete a task after a walk in both locations.
It concluded: “We demonstrate that a brief walk outside results in a greater increase in cognitive function than a short walk inside.
“Given the continued growth in urbanisation and a move to an indoor lifestyle, our results highlight the importance of spending time in nature, especially when exercising. 
“Indeed, in a world where many people “hit the gym” before or after work or on their lunch break, our results suggest that these people would be better served by simply “getting outside”.
We are firm believers in the power of exercising outdoors. The change of scene has previously been attributed to better performance as people are driven to work out longer or at a higher intensity.
This report is also further evidence to support the promotion of outdoor physical activity for overall wellbeing and attainment.

More than 200 organisations across England and Wales have been awarded a share of the £5 million Youth Justice Sports Fund to run projects for vulnerable teens.
Sport and physical activity programmes have been shown to build resilience, self-confidence and discipline among young people.
The organisations which have been awarded funding will engage with ‘at-risk’ young people and use sports and activity to steer them away from crime and antisocial behaviour.
A previous sports-based intervention programme showed a 35% reduction in youth prison sentences and 15% reduction in youth convictions.
In addition, exercise can help to develop focus as well as improve physical and mental health and wellbeing.
The Sports Fund has been co-ordinated by StreetGames and the Alliance of Sport for Criminal Justice, with the support of the Sport for Development Coalition – an umbrella of more than 250 charities in the sports sector.
Stuart Felce, StreetGames Director of Sport and Community Safety, said: “At StreetGames we believe that community sport, delivered in the right way, can have a transformational impact on children’s lives and the communities they live in.”
Is your community harnessing the power of sport and physical activity for the good of residents?

At Sunshine Gym we work together with a wide variety of communities and different user groups, including in prisons and secure units.
An outdoor gym from Sunshine Gym is an inclusive way of ensuring everybody has access to fitness opportunities, regardless of background, ability or experience.
We’ve recently come across the podcast A Prison’s Guide To… which launched this month.
The episode A Prison’s Guide To… Conflict Resolution features a Ministry of Justice PE instructor who emphasises the importance of sport in this type of community for teaching discipline, and in supporting prisoners to achieve through activities such as circuit training.
Listen here: 

How we educate young people about why physical activity is so important for a healthy lifestyle is a key part of Sport England’s work.
Its research shows that physically literate children are twice as likely to be active, have higher levels of mental wellbeing and feel their experiences are more positive. 
However the organisation says there are currently many definitions of physical literacy, so it has been working with a number of universities to develop a Physical Literacy Consensus statement for England.
The draft statement is now available to read with the public invited to share their views on the statement.
Take part in the consultation here: 

Alzheimer’s Society says that of all the lifestyle changes that have been studied, taking regular physical exercise appears to be one of the best things to do to reduce the risk of getting dementia.
While the charity says more research is needed to understand the level and intensity of exercise that is more effective, and the role of activity regarding different types of dementia, it says the results of various trials have shown regular aerobic exercise results in improvements in memory and attention.
In the last week, a new study published in The Journal of Physiology, found that a short but intense bout of cycling can improve the production of a brain protein linked to learning and memory.
The protein, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), increased four to five times more after six minutes of high-intensity cycling, compared to prolonged low intensity cycling.
The study is part of explorations into non-pharmacological approaches to healthy ageing.

As a trusted partner to the education sector, we thought we’d delve a little further into the guidance for the PE and Sport Premium Funding schools receive.
Key to the guidance is the aim of establishing a love of physical activity among children so they go on making healthy lifestyle choices.
The Government announced last summer that the funding, designed to help schools make additional and sustainable improvements to PE provision, would continue in the school year 2022-2023.
Final allocation payments are due to be made from the spring.
However new guidance has been issued on the how to apply the premium and ensure it is spent as intended.
The Government has stated that the funding must be used to build capacity and capability within a school, driving improvements which pupils will benefit from in future years.
It also states these improvements must develop or add to the PE, sport and physical activity a school provides.
It wants to see lasting change in the approach by schools towards PE, ensuring pupils have access to at least 30 minutes of physical activity during the school day, alongside PE provision.
At Sunshine Gym we have been working with primary schools across the UK to design and install outdoor gyms which secure improvement across the five key indicators in the funding guidance.
1. The addition of a Sunshine Gym, which may be described as a revenue expense under school policy, opens up the opportunity to enhance the knowledge and skills of PE and sports teachers. It provides additional tools at their disposal, inspiring new ways of delivering lessons and incorporating outdoor gym equipment into sessions.
2. With a wide variety of inclusive and accessible equipment to choose from, a Sunshine Gym is a popular way to engage all pupils in regular physical activity. Our multi user designs are key to this, as even the most reluctant pupils prefer to workout alongside their friends.
3. A Sunshine Gym is a real talking point, raising the profile of PE and sport across the school for whole school improvement. Designed to be used all year round, a Sunshine Gym draws on the wellbeing benefits of exercising outdoors including improved academic attainment and focus.
4. Having their own outdoor gym, designed and built specially for users under 4ft 7ins tall, means all pupils can broaden their experience of physical activity. Again, with so much variety in our product range, our advisers can design a gym which meets the interests and needs of target groups now and in the future.
5. As our outdoor gym equipment is free to access once installed, a Sunshine Gym breaks down barriers to make sport and activity available to all pupils which drives increased participation especially during break and lunch times. Our equipment can also support the development of other new and existing sports provision, such as being used in warm ups and cool down before and after competitive sports matches, as well as fostering respect for healthy competition and performance improvement.

Have you heard of Get Out Get Active? 
It’s a programme created to bring people of all abilities together to enjoy sports and activities. It focuses on getting some of the UK’s least active people moving through fun and inclusive activities.
It has released its latest impact report which shows the scheme reached 27,198 individual participants from 2016 to 2022.
Of those, 34.9% identified as having a disability or long term health condition.
It said: “GOGA isn’t a disability specific project. It’s about getting everybody more active using the principles of inclusion.
“It provides a flexible and fearless approach to trying and testing new activities and approaches.”
At Sunshine Gym we can help our clients create inclusive outdoor gyms where everyone can work out together.
We believe, through motivation and encouragement, the best way to workout and stay active is to make exercise a social occasion.
This year we have launched a new range of inclusive outdoor gym equipment and our teams continue to research, using feedback from organisations such as GOGA, new and effective ways to open up fitness for everybody.

The Youth Sport Trust is urging intervention from the Government to support young people into more active lifestyles. The results of Sport England’s Active Lifestyles survey show children who are more active are more likely to report higher levels of happiness and resilience. The trust is concerned that the cost of living crisis means many young people can no longer access sports and activities outside of school. Youth Sport Trust chief executive Ali Oliver said: “With the cost-of-living crisis rendering lots of activity beyond the school day inaccessible to those in the most disadvantaged areas, and with more children being active in school (44.8% of children active in school for at least 30 mins a day against 39.5% pre pandemic) we are calling on government to recognise the power of school sport to tackle the mental health crisis and reach those underserved communities of young people which are most likely to be affected.”

Activity levels are on the up among children and young people. The latest Active Lives survey by Sport England shows 47% of children are meeting the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines of taking part in an average of 60 minutes or more of physical activity a day. This is a 2.6% increase on activity levels in the last academic year, which Sport England says equates to 219,000 more active children.
Factors including a drive by schools to bring PE and sports back after the pandemic and the success of England in the UEFA Women’s Football Championship are thought to have supported the increase in activity levels. At Sunshine Gym we are seeing a real surge in interest from schools looking to diversify their offering for pupils, from primary schools right the way up to high schools, colleges and universities. An outdoor gym is a brilliant way to tap into the interests of more students and help them find a way of exercising that keeps them engaged.

Being outdoors supports health and wellbeing in many ways, so taking part in physical activity while surrounded by nature can only increase its positive impact.
The RSPB has become the latest organisation to support nature prescriptions, encouraging more people to benefit from the links between being in nature and the related health benefits.
The scheme comes in response to a growing body of evidence which demonstrates how being outdoors improves life satisfaction, vitality and happiness as well as reductions in anxiety, fatigue, depression and other conditions.
A nature prescription is based on accessible self-led activities that people can do to cultivate connections to nature.
They can also include physical activity outdoors and aim to deepen people’s care and concern for their environments.
The RSPB is trialling the prescriptions in Derbyshire after successful pilots in Scotland – we hope this opens the door to increasing numbers of people benefiting from improved health and wellbeing and leads to more of us getting out and being active outdoors.

The Small Grants Programme has been relaunched by Sport England with awards of up to £15,000 available for projects which help communities get active.
The scheme supports sports and physical activities which are designed to bring communities together and which help people who may be less physically active to get involved.
The programme will also prioritise projects that focus on environmental sustainability and considers how big an impact projects will have, particularly in areas of disadvantage.
At Sunshine Gym, our experienced sales team is happy to work with clients to provide supporting information to assist their funding bid.
We also have our own funding guide available to highlight revenue streams where we think an outdoor gym from Sunshine Gym will fit the criteria.
You can find the guide in the Downloadable Resources section of our website, or for more details on the Sport England Small Grants programme, click here:

Exercising outdoors is ideal for improving physical fitness but it can also be a great way to get rid of stress as well as build confidence and social skills.
We’re big advocates of the wellbeing benefits of outdoor gyms and the positive influence a workout can have on mental health.
Sunshine Gym was asked to install an outdoor fitness area at a secure children's home.
The accommodation and education unit for young people aged 10 to 18 has recently been rated as Outstanding, with staff ensuring residents have positive experiences which make them feel valued and worthy.
As part of their dedication to continuous improvement, staff identified an outdoor space as ideal for a Sunshine Gym installation.
It now features two Double Slalom Skiers; two Horse Riders and two Sky Steppers.
As well as bringing function and purpose to an underused area, Sunshine Gym designers created a fitness zone layout which encourages users to chat and motivate each other as they move round the circuit.
We believe an outdoor gym can be a real asset to secure homes and care settings, complementing the services being offered to residents.
#outdoorgym #gyminstallation

Sport England is suggesting public sector leisure services place more focus on active wellbeing.
A new report on the future of public leisure facilities highlights the potential to remodel services by adding value and focusing on key local priorities.
Fewer than two thirds of adults and less than 50% of children and young people meet the Chief Medical Officer’s guidelines for physical activity.
The report warns that opportunities to get involved in sport and activity too often rely on issues such as location, cost and accessibility.
But it suggests that the public leisure sector can play a role in reducing inequalities and restoring local pride.
At Sunshine Gym, we’re committed to opening up fitness opportunities for everybody. We’re a company that is particularly focused on removing barriers to fitness, working to bring high quality outdoor gym equipment to a wide range of accessible locations to help communities achieve their goals.
We’re already following Sport England’s work to create active environments and the new public leisure model aids local authorities to better deliver community health outcomes.
With lots of experience working with local authorities to provide public outdoor gyms, we hope to extend these partnerships with facilities in even more locations.
#fitness #outdoor #gym

We couldn’t resist doubling up on the festive fun! This week, we’ve held not one but two ChristmasJumperDay events to raise money for Save the Children International and our local hospice Dougie Mac
From slogans to Santas, chunky knits to light-up sweaters, our team got into the spirit of the season to support two very good causes. In total, £215.67 was raised to be shared between the charities.
Gifts and toys have also been donated to KidsOut which supports disadvantaged children through fun, positive experiences delivering hope for a better future.
With lots to be grateful for at Broxap Ltd this year, we thank our team for their kindness in supporting others in need.

Did you read news reports from King's College London exploring research which showed seeing or hearing birds is associated with an improvement in mental wellbeing that can last up to eight hours?
The study used an app to ask study participants if they could see or hear birds, followed by a series of questions on mental wellbeing.
The improvements in mental wellbeing were reported by those who were healthy as well as those participants diagnosed with depression.
The results are further evidence that natural ecosystems are of huge benefit to our health, and could go some way to supporting future urban planning through the creation of biodiverse spaces that harbour birdlife.
As designers and installers of outdoor gyms, we take a holistic approach to health looking for inspiring, new and innovative ways we can marry exercise and the outdoors for better overall wellbeing.

This new blog on the NHS website explores how exercise is an essential part of self care.
It advises making it a regular part of your day.
It also explores other benefits such as connecting with the outdoors and being part of a community of people who love working out.
These are all reasons why we love getting active at the outdoor gym – we hope it inspires more people to give Sunshine Gym a try!


When the clocks go back and the dark nights set in, it’s wise to continue, or even increase, exercise regimes.
One medical school in the U.S. says the downturn in mood associated with the change in light, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), can be combated through exercise.
Baylor College of Medicine in Texas says that while aerobic exercise is known to boost mood, the likes of yoga and tai chi can also help.
It recommends those who usually exercise outdoors continue to do so, making some slight changes such as wearing reflective and high vis clothing.
Sticking to a routine is vital to maintaining good health through exercise – once those good habits built up over the spring and summer come to a stop there’s a risk that they won’t be followed again!

Wow! What a fantastic day we’ve had here at Broxap all in aid of BBC Children in Need – thank you to all our teams for getting involved!
This year we organised a series of games and events to try and boost our fundraising total as well as play a part in all the #CiN fun.
We set the challenge of covering 500 miles in our own Walk and Talk event, encouraging employees to head outdoors for a walk or run over the last three weeks - and guess what? We smashed it!
In fact we covered a total of 778.27 miles with prizes awarded to our Installation Resource Manager Darren Beach, who covered the most miles at 184.43 miles, and Technical Sales Adviser Kyle Griffiths who was the most dedicated participant, completing his miles over the weekend and while on annual leave.
Thanks to everyone who sent in photos while out on their walks to raise awareness of this worthwhile charity.
We also held a dress down day, a bottle tombola and a competition to guess the number of sweets in the jar to record a grand fundraising total of £244.00.
Well done team Broxap Ltd Hand Made Places by Broxap Sunshine Gym

It’s been a while since we’ve attended a trade show – but we’re really glad to be back!
This week we are exhibiting at the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation and it’s been a real experience for us and, hopefully, for the potential customers we’ve met so far.
The last two years have really pushed businesses in terms of innovation and maximising their offer for clients.
And with the UK holiday sector benefiting from an increase in bookings, it’s fantastic to see the drive by owners to really showcase just what they have to offer visitors.
The value we all place on being able to get outdoors has really increased and with a keen focus on healthy lifestyles, adding an outdoor gym to a caravan, camping or holiday park can be a real asset.
We’re at the show again today so if you’re heading there, come and say hello!

Shortfalls in the levels of physical activity undertaken by children around the world have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
The Active Healthy Kids Global Alliance(AHKGA) says children and teenagers are not moving enough to promote healthy growth and development and the Covid-19 pandemic has only made thing worse.
Modern lifestyles such as an increase in screen time, the urbanisation of communities and the automation of previously manual tasks have also been blamed.
Its report compared 57 countries from six continents, grading 10 common indicators of physical activity.
For overall physical activity, England was graded C- and Wales scored an F. There was insufficient evidence for Scotland.
Recommendations include increasing opportunities for children and teenagers to be physically active at school including encouraging active break times and increasing PE sessions as well as improving access to free public facilities.
These are two areas we feel very strongly about at Sunshine Gym.
Working with primary and secondary schools as well as further and higher education settings, we design and install outdoor gyms to encourage young people to exercise while having fun.
We aim to break down the barriers to fitness, and with our equipment being free to access once installed, making it perfect for parks and recreation grounds.
Opening up opportunities to fitness is part of our mission and studies such as the current research by AHKGA strengthens our determination to make exercise accessible to all.

Holiday parks and resorts have a lot to gain through careful planning of outdoor areas.
With the right designs, outdoor spaces can deliver added value for guests, exceeding their expectations to encourage repeat visits and great reviews.
A space that is low maintenance, easy to use and does not take up lots of staff time is also important to the bottom line.
Next month we will be exhibiting at The Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show to provide advice and inspiration for finding new purpose for outdoor areas.
An outdoor gym from Sunshine Gym is an ideal addition to sites and attractions, giving adults and children the opportunity to stay fit and try new activities.
If you’re in the holiday park industry but can’t make the show why not drop us a line to discuss the benefits Sunshine Gym can deliver to the holiday experience you offer.

A survey by Sport Wales found 36% of children are not doing any sports outside of their school PE lessons – an increase from 28% in 2018.
Fears have been raised that the cost of activities is to blame, while Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson said sporting activities need to be more inclusive and accessible.
We work with primary, secondary and further education establishments across the UK and our message is the same.
With our wide variety of outdoor gym equipment, there is something for everybody to enjoy and with an outdoor gym, owners can make the facility accessible all year round, at the best times to suit visitors.
Talk to our team about breaking down barriers to fitness with an outdoor gym from Sunshine Gym.


A new survey shows 15% of adults admit to doing no exercise at all in the last year, while 37% are more concerned about their mental health following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Nuffield Health’s Healthier Nation Index found that the effects of the pandemic are continuing to impact wellbeing.
Despite concerns people have over their mental and physical health, three quarters are not meeting the NHS recommended 75 minutes a week of vigorous activity.
At Sunshine Gym we realise it’s more important than ever that barriers to fitness are broken down so everybody has opportunities to get active for good health.
We work in a wide variety of settings – housing developments, schools, workplaces, prisons, parks and holiday resorts – to install outdoor gyms which are free to access and simple to use so people of all ages, fitness levels and abilities can enjoy a work out together.

What does urban sustainability mean to you?
We believe in improving the health of communities for a more sustainable future.
Our outdoor gym designs are fully inclusive, opening up fitness for everybody.
Removing barriers to exercise, such as cost and accessibility, can be achieved through the inclusion of an outdoor gym in outdoor spaces.
We believe in designs that make communities stronger, safer and healthier which in return improve happiness and productivity.
What tools do you feel improve urban sustainability?

Read more in our blog:

Newcastle University has published a new standard for parks after 79% of people said they felt unsafe in North East parks during winter evenings.
Advice includes creating accessible, designated social areas, such as performance areas, sports areas and relaxation areas.
It calls for a distinct approach to the design and management of parks for the safety of women and girls to ensure that park facilities can be used equally by all people.
It suggests bright, fun exercise equipment that is simple and social to use should be installed to make girls and women feel welcome and included.
Other suggestions include organising more events and activities to increase the number of people in parks; lighting that is sustainable and efficient and respects nature; and training and educating park staff and volunteers to respond to problems such as crime.
Safety and accessibility is always considered in the design of a Sunshine Gym and our teams are experienced in creating outdoor gyms that bring people together socially. The Safer Parks Standard suggests that as well as active recreation facilities, parks being well maintained and clean makes girls feel safer and more likely to use parks.

How different intensities of workout affect the mind is being explored.
A study from Dartmouth College, an Ivy League research university in New Hampshire, recorded how easy to moderate exercise had a different impact on cognitive performance than high intensity workouts.
More research is now being done about how the intensity of exercise affects how minds work.
Researchers feel specific aspects of mental and cognitive health, such as memory, are affected by specific intensities of workout in different ways.
They believe their research could provide insight into how exercise can be optimised, such as designing workouts for students before exams or specific regimes for people suffering from stress and anxiety.
Overall the study found that staying active at any intensity improved cognitive performance and benefitted mental health.
At Sunshine Gym we are great advocates of taking part in physical activity for a wellbeing boost.
The study gives more support to the idea that an outdoor gym workout can keep the body and mind in good shape.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke, is the world’s leading cause of death claiming 18.6 million lives each year.
World Heart Day is held to highlight the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control CVD.
Organisations behind the awareness day say that by controlling risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, at least 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided.

Holiday parks and camp sites can tailor their offering to a wider range of customers with an outdoor gym.
Balance great food and lots of relaxation with fun workouts that are easy to fit in during a holiday.
We provide outdoor gym equipment for children and adults so families can still enjoy time together while exercising.
And as a free to access activity, offering outdoor gym facilities to your guests is a fantastic value-added bonus to exceed their expectations.

Visit our website for more information:

Almost half of all six-year-olds are not meeting the daily recommended target of at least 60 minutes of exercise a day.
A study by Medical Research Council academics at the University of Cambridge and University of Southampton assessed how much activity children were taking part in each week.
The team found that just over half (53%) met the current UK guidelines for at least one hour of moderate to vigorous exercise a day for good mental and physical health.
An outdoor gym from Sunshine Gym is a really fun and entertaining way to engage children in regular exercise.
Is it time your primary school invested in an outdoor gym to help turn around the figures?

Outdoor gyms bring a wide range of benefits to the community.
Encouraging more people to take up physical activity and exercise not only tackles obesity and related health conditions, it also brings communities together to motivate and encourage each other.
Exercising outdoors has further mental health benefits, reducing symptoms associated with stress and anxiety.
Our inclusive range of outdoor gym equipment integrates different social groups, creating social spaces where everybody feels welcome.
And our simple to use, free to access equipment removes barriers such as cost, location and fear of intimidation which put some users off visiting traditional gyms.
Visit our website or get in touch with our teams today to discuss how a Sunshine Gym will support your community’s healthy lifestyle goals.

Our home county of Staffordshire is one of 11 areas in England to benefit from a £12.7 million pot to help people’s mental and physical health.
Projects in the areas range from walking groups to cycle training and free bike loans.
The pilots must be delivered alongside improved infrastructure so people feel safe to cycle and walk and they bring together a wide range of organisations from the NHS to the Department for Health and Social Care.
The schemes aim to evaluate the impact of cycling and walking on an individual’s health such as reduced GP appointments and reliance on medication thanks to increased physical activity.
At Sunshine Gym we are great advocates of the benefits of exercising outdoors for all-round wellbeing.
We will be interested to hear the results of the schemes and hope they benefit lots of different groups.

Exercise trackers are said to encourage people to move more.
Researchers reviewed almost 400 studies involving 164,000 people to identify a positive link between wearing trackers and activity levels across all age groups.
They discovered people who wear trackers are likely to walk an extra 40 minutes a day, and lose an average of 1kg over five months.
It's a great insight as to how prompts really do make a difference. We believe the same works with community outdoor gyms.
Positioning outdoor fitness equipment in popular parks and recreation grounds is likely to spur more people to get active!

Almost half of women in the UK have done no vigorous exercise in the past 12 months, according to healthcare charity Nuffield Health.
In its online survey of 8,000 adults, 38% of women said they had got out of the habit of exercising during lockdown. Half said they now lacked motivation.
Sport England, through its This Girl Can campaign, has issued a range of guidance to sports and leisure venues to improve the experiences of women.
Our blog addresses how outdoor gyms can also be part of the solution.

Take a look here:

According to TV GP Dr Zoe Williams, different exercises can improve different moods.
She recommends getting out in the fresh air for some walking if anyone is suffering from a lack of motivation or a mental block.
This gets the heart rate up and boosts the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain helping people to focus.
Similarly she says swimming is good for stress as focusing on the different strokes releases cortisol and reduces symptoms of anxiety.
What is your favourite exercise to boost your mood?

The Landscape Institute has called for more programmes and activities from the NHS under its green social prescribing approach.
In its response to the Department of Health and Social Care’s 10-year mental health and wellbeing plan, the LI says green infrastructure has a key part to play in supporting mental health in the community.
It says there is an opportunity through community green projects to make innovate new approaches to wellbeing.
At Sunshine Gym we fully believe in the benefits of exercising in a green space such as in an outdoor gym.
We work with parish councils and local authorities across the UK to create health parks and fitness zones which everybody can benefit from.
If you think we can support a healthy lifestyle project in your community, call our team and we will arrange a free consultation.

Ofsted classes a high quality PE curriculum as one which goes beyond normal lesson time and is inclusive of all pupils.
At Sunshine Gym, we design outdoor gym areas which bring pupils together to have fun while enjoying a healthier lifestyle.
This includes layouts and configurations which encourage multi user workouts, where children who might not normally socialise together have the opportunity to chat while exercising and find common interests.
Our equipment is designed so individual users work out only at their own speed and pace, regardless of how many other stations are in use. The equipment is operated independently for safety reasons and also to reduce fear of intimidation and build confidence among users.
At Sunshine Gym we also have a range of wheelchair-accessible inclusive equipment available for children of all abilities to benefit from.
And as our equipment is simple to operate and free to access once installed, it’s a great way to keep pupils active beyond lesson time.
Talk to our advisers today about how a Sunshine Gym can improve the quality of your school’s PE curriculum.

The This Girl Can campaign has announced investment into further research to tackle women’s safety concerns in leisure environments.
The money will be spent on resources and training that will help ensure facilities are safe and inclusive.
It comes after research showed safety concerns were among the reasons why women may be reluctant to get active in gyms and leisure sites.

Our blog looks at guidance published by Sport England in response to this research and applies it to outdoor gym developments.

You can read it here:

The Government has confirmed the PE and Sport Premium will continue in the next school year.

A total of £320 million will be delivered to schools in 2022 and 2023 to give more children access to high quality PE lessons and sporting opportunities for better physical and mental health.
The funding is awarded to primary schools and is ringfenced for the provision of additional and sustainable improvements to the physical activities they offer.

It is designed to give children the chance to experience the benefits of regular exercise and encourage them to continue with a healthy lifestyle.

We work with primary schools across the UK to design and install outdoor gyms which meet the aims of the grant.

#grant #funding