What’s shared use? The infrastructure for increased community activity already exists—most schools have a variety of safe facilities, including running tracks, pools, gymnasiums, fitness rooms and playgrounds. The ability to use these school recreational facilities for community members or local organizations after school hours, or ‘shared use,’ is a simple and cost-effective solution that could have immediate impact for individuals and entire communities.
What’s the problem? Unfortunately, school districts often feel that the risks outweigh the benefits. Many schools close most facilities to the public after school hours due to concerns about liability, security, maintenance and possible costs.
What’s the solution? In December 2014, with the efforts of Ohio health advocates, lawmakers passed legislation clarifying school liability policy. Local communities can take advantage of this new law and encourage shared use. You can advocate for increased physical activity in your community through the creation of shared use agreements with schools.
Why should you care? Ohio’s obesity rates, especially for children, are unacceptable. And most people don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity each day. Without a change, Ohio will continue to rank among the states with the highest obesity rates in the country.
You can help! The resources and materials on this site are available for download and are shareable!