The installation of an innovative playscape at Brimbank Park has resulted in more than double the number of park visitors engaging in physical activity.

The playscape is the subject of a new study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, that examines the affect playground refurbishment can have on park visitation and physical activity.

The study examined the impact of the upgraded playscape over a two-year period and compared it with a control park that had similar infrastructure to that of Brimbank Park prior to the refurbishment. It found that in the study period, Brimbank Park had over two and a half times more park visitors than the control park and had more than double the number of visitors observed engaging in moderate to vigorous physical activity

In addition, Brimbank Park playground visitation increased more than seven times after the new playscape area was completed, whereas visitor counts at the playground at the control park decreased slightly in the same period.

The lead author of the study, Dr Jenny Veitch from the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition at Deakin University, said the results were clear.

“These findings confirm that well-designed playscape refurbishments have the potential to increase park visitation and encourage visitors to use these spaces to be physically active,” she said.

“This evidence is important for policy and decision makers, urban planning and future park developments to ensure our parks are designed to support local communities to lead healthy and active lives.”

Brimbank mayor Margaret Giudice said the results were vindication of the investment.

“The results of this study provide further validation of the significant investment Brimbank City Council has made into upgrading parks and playgrounds across the municipality in recent years,” she said.