Current Content
Volume 35, Number 1
January/February 2009

Everybody Needs a Break!
Responses to a Playgarden Survey

Joan Turner
Jessica Fralic
Krista Newman-Bennett
Linda Skinner

The role of outdoor activity in health and development warrants attention as an important feature of quality health care environments. This study of visitor perceptions of a playgarden located in a pediatric and women's health care facility resulted in 52 completed surveys from hospital staff and parents. Most respondents indicated high levels of agreement to questions related to their general experience. The main reason stated for visiting the playgarden revolved around the need for "a break." Time spent outdoors was appreciated relative to specific features, such as the natural environment, play equipment, furniture, and the atmosphere of the outdoors. Access to outdoor spaces and play are important features of the principle of normalization and also serve as an avenue for the promotion of healthy lifestyles.