Shade structures are exterior fixtures that provide people shelter from harsh temperatures and outdoor elements.
This al-fresco architectural feature, in its most stripped-down version, consists of a roof covering and support. It can come in various shapes, sizes, types, and colourways.
Shade structures are excellent additions to any public or private outdoor gathering spot, of which many are found in educational settings like schools, training facilities, and universities.
Not only are they convenient places of refuge against unpleasant weather conditions, but they also double as health-promoting structures that look after the well-being of students, parents, and teachers outside the enclosed walls of the school.
There are several reasons why having a shade structure is beneficial for your school. Let’s dive into six health-focused considerations on why you should consider setting up shade structures during your next renovation project.
1) It Reduces Skin Cancer Risk
Shade structures help offer shelter to people from various weather conditions, and among the most dangerous weather conditions out there is scorching sunlight.
Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in the world, with statistics reporting that 9,500 new people get diagnosed with this condition every day in the US alone.
While prevalent in the US, this condition is a worldwide epidemic, with people across the globe—from Australia to England—experiencing its grave impacts one way or another.
While skin cancer risk has some genetic influence, the main reason for skin cancer’s global prevalence is largely attributed to long sun exposure.
Short-term exposure can lead to a temporary and painful sunburn. This can go away after a while. However, long-term and constant exposure can cause photoaging and permanently alter the skin’s structure.
This is because the sun emits ultraviolet (UV) rays. These rays can damage the cellular lining and go on to form abnormal growth factors like basal and squamous cell skin cancer and melanoma.
Furthermore, student-aged children face an increased risk of skin deformities from constant UV radiation. This is because they have thinner outer layers of skin and also have lower levels of melanin than their adult counterparts.
The solution? The best way to keep people’s bodies and skin free from developing skin cancer is by using sunscreen and limiting sun exposure.
And to limit sun exposure risk, setting up a quality shade structure in your school is the perfect solution to keep your students and staff safe from the sun.
The best places to put up a shade structure are in playgrounds, waiting areas, outdoor gymnasiums, and anywhere where students tend to congregate. Having these structures in place can keep a child’s sensitive skin safe from harsh UV rays.
2) Prevents Heat Strokes
Another health risk posed by prolonged sun exposure is heat stroke. Heat strokes are heat-related illnesses that occur when the body can’t regulate its temperature normally. This makes it so that the body is no longer able to sweat and cool down.
When this happens, internal body temperature can rise as high as 106°F (41C) or more and can lead to severe symptoms like panting, confusion, and a loss of consciousness. This condition is serious and can be fatal if the patient is left untreated.
While your schools likely have temperature-regulating units indoors, there are many reasons why students would take their business outside. This can range from outdoor cafeterias to taking PE classes.
In such cases, having a shade structure helps keep them protected from the sun and able to keep their body temperature at stable levels. This, in turn, helps them conduct their activities without the added risk of heat strokes.
3) Promotes Physical Activities
Students tend to congregate in places that are most comfortable for them during their free time. In most cases, these places are cool, designated places with zero humidity as opposed to unpaved and unshaded areas outside the school.
If you want to promote an active lifestyle to the student body, a shade structure from Greenline is the perfect addition to facilitate safe physical excursion and outdoor exploration among kids.
A shade structure can serve as an integral part of school culture—being a towering force that helps students enjoy the outdoors.
By providing comfort and shade over a wide area, kids are more willing to take part in recreational activities as there’s a smaller risk of them suffering heat problems. Plus, it’s considerably more comfortable playing without the sun baring down on them.
By promoting an active lifestyle to the student body, students can develop better cardiovascular health and develop better social bonds with their classmates. Beyond physical improvements, these holistic improvements can make students more well-rounded citizens overall.
In short, shade structures hold more value than they appear!
4) Improves Immune System
Playing out in a cold, wet environment—such as in a garden during a rainy day—can cause your immune system to temporarily weaken. This can increase the chances for kids to catch the common cold or virus.
A shade structure shields kids and vulnerable adults from torrential downpours. This keeps their body warm and cosy while simultaneously keeping pathogens from afflicting and potentially wreaking havoc on the body.
5) Preserves Object Safety and Integrity
Our bodies aren’t the only thing at risk when exposed to the sun and rain on the daily. Manmade objects can also erode over time, especially when left exposed to the elements.
This is why it’s important to put up a shade structure in the school’s play areas. If a playground’s equipment like swing sets or slides are exposed to the sun, this can cause them to rust over time.
Rusting equipment can ruin the plaything’s structural integrity, increasing the likelihood of the student experiencing painful scrapes and bruises during play. In worst-case scenarios, this can lead to an infection and an expensive trip to the hospital.
Furthermore, unshaded structures can mean that random objects can fall on the child’s play area. This can cause obstacles to appear within the play area, increasing the risk of falls and injuries.
So if you want to minimise the chance of school equipment being the cause of injuries to your students, then consider setting up a shade structure to preserve the quality of these objects.
6) Improves Mental Health
Being out in nature is proven to be an excellent mental health booster. And as managing schoolwork is stressful for both teachers and students, having a designated place to lounge can be a terrific way to keep the people in your school’s mental health at bay.
Shaded structures can be affixed to any part of your school property. You can have it overlook the trees and fields around the property. Alternatively, you can situate it at the back of the school building where people can reflect in solitude.
Regardless of where you put the shade structure, having one can be a fantastic way to support the student body’s mental health. Curbing stress isn’t the only thing these shade structures offer, however.
These places can also be sanctuaries where students can reflect, exercise their creativity, and concentrate on schoolwork. This, in turn, can help them perform better in school and give them a better chance of excelling in their field.