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75% of children said that using the outdoor gym helps their work in class

Study reveals the positive impact of a Fresh Air Fitness Outdoor Gym on primary school children

Primary school outdoor gym

13th May 2019

At Fresh Air Fitness, we believe that to make physical activity enjoyable, interesting and fun for children, gym equipment needs to be dynamic and involve movement*. Over the years we've had lots and lots of great feedback and anecdotes on the positive impact that a Fresh Air Fitness outdoor gym has been for schools, but until now thats all they were. So, to get the full picture, fully understand the impact of our equipment, we surveyed hundreds of children of primary school age, and the results were incredible.

Children were selected from various year groups between years 3 to 6, and all from schools that have a Fresh Air Fitness gym installed onsite. 

The questions we asked highlighted the attitudes and behaviours children have around the outdoor gym equipment. Levels of enjoyment, motivation and confidence in using the outdoor gym equipment, all key to the new Active Lives Survey (Sport England 2018). Questions were also posed to identify any perceived positive links between health, wellbeing and attainment, identified as significant to Public Health England (2014).

The results truly support our view - Outdoor gym equipment can have a highly positive impact on children of all abilities, all genders and those with special educational needs.

Below is a summary of some of our key findings.


Q: Does doing exercise make you feel happy?

A: 94% of children agreed that exercise always or sometimes makes them happy.


Q: Do you use the Outdoor Gym Equipment during your breaktimes?

A: 90% of children said Yes


Q: Do you enjoy using it?

A: 97% of children said they did enjoy using the outdoor gym equipment


Q: Do you feel fitter for using it?

A: 88% of children said that they always or sometimes feel fitter using the equipment


Q: Do you think that using it helps your work in the classroom?

A: 75% of children said that using the outdoor gym helps their work in class. Supporting cross curricular attainment.


Q: Does having an ‘Outdoor Gym’ make your school a better place to be?

A: 96% said Yes!


Q: Do you feel that you have done MORE exercise since the ‘Outdoor Gym’ as been at the school?

A: 85% of children said they had done more exercise following the outdoor gym installation.


Furthermore, these results were similar across all year groups, suggesting the outdoor gym engages children from Year 3 through to Year 6.

Feedback from PE leaders is also positive, with one leader having seen a 50% improvement in activity in the weeks following the installation of an outdoor gym and deputy head teacher saying ‘this outdoor gym has transformed breaktimes’

Our Conclusion

Our equipment has been developed with primary school children at its heart. It won’t bore them, it won’t harm them. It will keep them engaged, keep the children more active, support their enjoyment of physical activity and boost levels concentration and learning back in the classroom.

* Fresh Air Fitness do not recommend static outdoor gym equipment in a primary school environment; Static equipment is not fun for children to use and they often require technical knowledge by both staff and children to ensure they are used correctly and to prevent injury.

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