Everyone needs safe and accessible places to exercise in their communities in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, some communities do not have safe opportunities to engage in physical activity. Children with access to recreational facilities close to home have shown to be more physically active and have lower obesity rates than those without access.
Shared-use is one way to increase physical activity opportunities in communities across Kentucky. Shared-use can be formal agreements between two entities, typically a school and another agency such as a city government or a YMCA, to share school facilities during non-school hours or they can be informal, in that a school allows community members to use facilities for exercise without a formal contract with another agency.
- In 2012, Kentucky Youth Advocates released the results of a survey of school principals focused on shared-use in Kentucky communities. The report, Sharing School Facilities: How Collaboration can Increase Physical Activity in Communities, provides success stories of shared-use across the state and identifies solutions to overcome barriers to shared-use.
- Kentucky Youth Advocates worked on the successful passage of SB 110 during the 2012 General Assembly. This bill, now signed into law, encourages more schools to open up their facilities to the community by extending the same protections from liability that they have during the school day if someone gets hurt while on school property after school hours. Kentucky Youth Advocates is now working to educate school districts about the new law and encourage more schools to open up their facilities to the community during non-school hours.