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8 keys to creating a sucessful outdoor fitness area

The following article is based on our recent webinar, “8 keys to creating a must-have outdoor fitness area”.

Increasingly sedentary lifestyles call for proactive action to promote physical activity. That’s why Atmosphäre has teamed up with theKOMPAN Fitness Institute to reveal the essential keys to designing outdoor fitness areas!

Discover how each key opens the door to spaces that are conducive to movement, safe and attractive, in harmony with their public and their environment.

1. Target group identification

Each space has its own story! By analyzing the surrounding demographics, we adapt not only the equipment, but also the overall design to fit harmoniously into the fabric of the community.

Surrounding demographics and geographical location :

  • For spaces close to a seniors’ residence: integrating the Stay Fit range is ideal for improving residents’ balance, strength and mobility. These activities can help prevent falls and reduce isolation among seniors.
  • For spaces close to schools: whether high school, CEGEP or university campus, the Street Workout range offers fixed equipment requiring greater physical skill, ideal for young adults. It allows bodyweight to be used as resistance for exercises such as push-ups, pull-ups and sit-ups.
  • For a technology park or technopole: since we’re addressing a wide range of users, we recommend including a wide variety of equipment types. The Cross-Training range can be an excellent starting point for meeting the diverse needs of this community.
  • For residential development: our Fitness Force range provides a complete body workout. The familiarity of this equipment, similar to that found in gyms, makes it easily accessible to a wide audience without requiring in-depth knowledge of fitness.

Expert advice

Everyone can benefit from cardiovascular training, so it’s a good idea to incorporate cardio equipment into any outdoor fitness area!

The devices in the cardio range are intuitive and easy to use, as well as being extremely hard-wearing and winter-proof!

2. Place of installation

Every space has its own particularities, so it’s important to adapt the design to the dimensions, topographical features and type of training desired. This crucial step will influence the layout of the space and the type of training you can offer.

Concept and approach:

  • Develop an engaging concept that uses the principles of training circuits, dedicated areas, or even a trail to encourage a variety of physical activities.

Space flexibility:

  • Larger sites can accommodate several distinct zones grouping together different types of equipment, or a circuit-type layout where users are encouraged to overcome obstacles in succession.

Maximizing limited space :

  • In a more restricted area, such as a rooftop terrace or courtyard, space utilization can be maximized with compact combination stations to optimize the number of activities per square foot.

3. Inclusive equipment and furnishings

A successful outdoor fitness area design is not limited to the variety of equipment, but also involves an inclusive approach. Integrating this key ensures that your space is welcoming to all, whatever their level of fitness or specific needs.

Accessibility for people with reduced mobility :

  • Equipment designed to be used directly from a wheelchair, such as the arm bike (above) and certain equipment from the Fitness Force range.
  • Equipment designed for safe and easy transfer from a wheelchair.
  • Ensure that all accesses to the area are accessible to users with reduced mobility (sidewalks, curbs, etc.).

Use of bright colors and color-coded zones:

  • Incorporate bright colors and color-coded areas for easy orientation and visibility.

Inclusive flooring :

  • Appropriate flooring is crucial for safety and accessibility. We recommend flat, non-slip surfaces to minimize the risk of injury, such as Playrite’s Matchplay2 sand dressed surface.

Expert advice

The accessibility of your space doesn’t stop with the fitness area and the choice of equipment. Even the best-thought-out, most inclusive equipment won’t benefit your users with reduced mobility if they can’t get to your area! Be sure to think about sidewalks and curbs, and avoid using soft surfaces such as grass and mulch.

4. Landscaping

Well-thought-out design is not limited to fitness equipment, but also integrates the surrounding environment. Landscaping plays a crucial role in creating an attractive, functional, sustainable and inviting space.

Nature integration

  • Greenery, benches, lighting and shade: Landscaping must intelligently integrate natural elements such as green spaces, benches for resting, adequate lighting and shade structures. This creates an inviting and comfortable environment for users.

Extended hours of use

  • Pleasant to use and safe: A well-thought-out layout can extend the site’s hours of use, making it pleasant to use even after the sun goes down. Strategic lighting contributes to safety while creating a welcoming atmosphere.

Synergy with family spaces

  • Nearby playground: For environments with lots of families, consider combining the fitness area with a playground. This approach encourages active anticipation on the part of parents and carers, while offering activities adapted to children’s needs.

Expert advice

Ensuring a thoughtful balance between opening up space and creating a sense of security. The space needs to be inviting and easy to access, yet delineated and offer a degree of privacy.

Discomfort and feelings of vulnerability are major disincentives to training, so we’ll make sure to mitigate them and maximize the use of your area.

5. Site maintenance

An outdoor fitness area requires regular maintenance to ensure its durability and safety. Taking these aspects into account right from the design phase ensures optimum operation throughout the year.

Four-season planning :

  • Snow removal in winter: Plan for snow removal in winter to ensure safe and convenient access, even in cold weather.
  • Seasonal cleaning: Schedule seasonal cleaning to remove debris such as leaves in autumn, ensuring cleanliness and safety.

Year-round use:

Maintenance services :

  • Professional cleaning service: Surfaces can be cleaned by the road department, but we also offer a PRIMA maintenance service dedicated to our sand dressed surfaces. This option ensures optimum maintenance for the safety and longevity of your fitness area.

6. Activation / programming

Integrating the fitness area into your community’s overall programming maximizes its use and reinforces its impact on health and well-being.

Incorporation into your leisure program :

  • Seasonal programming: Integrate the fitness area into your town’s, school’s or center’s recreational activities to make it an integral part of community life.
  • Optimize existing resources: Leverage existing resources, such as physical therapists or trainers, for synergistic integration with the community.

Social and physical experience :

  • Group training sessions: Organize group training sessions for a friendly discovery of the equipment, encouraging socialization while promoting physical fitness.
  • Positive ripple effect: As the equipment may seem intimidating at first sight to some, these activities will encourage even the shyest to make the space their own, creating a ripple effect. The more people see the area being used, the more likely they are to take advantage of it too!

7. Display

Effective communication is essential to inform and engage the community. Well thought-out signage on the fitness area site is an important key to maximizing its use.

Clear, accessible information:

  • On-site signage: Each of our outdoor fitness areas features signage explaining the equipment and how to use it. These panels offer a user-friendly, educational experience, and can be customized to include site name, logo, etc.

Additional resources at your fingertips :

  • QR code for more information: Each piece of equipment features a QR code for quick access to additional resources. Explore the KOMPAN Outdoor Fitness app, with explanatory animations and additional exercises to enhance the user experience.

8. Promotion

Promotion plays a key role in the success of your outdoor fitness area. Increased visibility encourages community involvement and attracts a wide audience.

Promotional strategies :

  • Local advertising: Use local newspapers, municipal bulletins, newsletters or your own website to announce the new fitness site to the local population.
  • Social networks: Maximize visibility on social networks by sharing news, attractive photos and user testimonials.
  • Launch events: Organize launch events to generate enthusiasm and encourage participation right from the start.

Transform your space with Atmosphäre

Make your next outdoor fitness area a success and a vibrant place of activity and well-being by integrating these 8 key concepts. Whether you’re looking for inclusion, safety, or innovation, these keys pave the way for environments designed to inspire movement and active gathering.

Get inspired by our complete solutions in our Outdoor Fitness Solutions Guide! You’ll find 24 carefully crafted configurations to inspire you.

Whether you’d like to learn more about our products, request a consultation or tell us about your project, contact our experts! Together, let’s create spaces that stimulate vitality and unite communities.

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