- Associated Press - Sunday, March 12, 2017

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Lincoln officials are looking at installing playground equipment for adults, prompted by a resident who brought home the idea from a trip to China.

Dorene Casey and her sister, Jan Savoie, of Omaha, noticed the equipment and used some of it while visiting the Asian nation two years ago. It’s been installed in thousands of parks across China since the government mandated fitness programs for all residents. The idea has since spread to other countries, including the U.S.

The senior fitness areas usually include low-impact equipment designed to promote flexibility, balance and coordination There may be walking paths with ramps, steps and arches and games such as bocce or horseshoes.

Casey told the Lincoln Journal Star (https://bit.ly/2lwcdjz) that much of the exercise equipment in the Chinese parks designed for older people is arranged so people can talk while working out. Sometimes the adult equipment is installed next to children’s playgrounds so parents or grandparents can exercise while keeping an eye on youngsters with them.

She eventually told what she and her sister saw to Lincoln parks and recreation officials, who liked the idea and began working on ways to pay for it.

Equipment can range from $8,000 for a single piece to more than $75,000 for an exercise station, said Lynn Johnson, the parks and recreation director.

Lincoln may see its first piece of adult playground equipment next summer at Phil E. Mendoza Park in the Vintage Heights development. The project is funded by the neighborhood association. The single piece of equipment with no moving parts will allow for a full-body workout and cost between $8,000 and $12,000, which includes rubber surfacing over a concrete pad.

Equipment with no moving parts is less expensive to maintain and repair, Johnson said.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com

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