Many of today's deskbound workers regularly head to the gym to try and keep the fat from clinging to their waistlines. For those who are also fond of the great outdoors, a UK company has developed and installed over 250 open air exercise areas across the country. The latest addition to a product catalog featuring robust, weather-proof versions of exercise machines you might find in any modern indoor gym is the world's first energy-harvesting outdoor gym called the TGO Green Heart. As users burn off the calories on the free-to-use cross trainer, hand bike, fitness bike and recumbent bike, the company's proprietary technology harvests all that people power and converts it into useable electricity.

As well as having over 200 installations of outdoor gyms, mini multi-use games areas, climbing walls, and performance-and-dance spaces, the Great Outdoor Gym Company has also created around 50 London 2012 logo-shaped outdoor fitness and sport spaces called adiZones in collaboration with Adidas. Each gym is said to serve a community of 5,000 people and TGOGC aims to install 100 outdoor gyms per year for the next five years as part of a pledge to the UK's Department of Health. The City of Hull is already home to a number of TGO outdoor gyms and was therefore the logical choice for its new Green Heart pilot project.

In addition to the power-generating cardio outdoor exercise equipment, the TGO Green Heart at Shaw Park, Hull also features a Power Display Wall that measures and displays the energy generated by the heart-shaped gym's users. There's a place to check your weight, measure your height and work out your BMI, as well as a covered communal seating area. The generated electricity is used to light the exercise zone at night but it could also be fed into local buildings or even the National Grid.

All equipment is designed to comply with the European playground standard EN1176 aimed at making play areas safe for all to use, and is made in UK using kite-marked steel, anti-tamper fixings and installed securely with ground sockets.

The company is currently taking orders for a broader rollout of its Green Heart, both in the UK and abroad, once the initial Hull pilot has come to an end later this year. TGOGC can also oversee site maintenance and has committed to plant a tree for every piece of equipment that's purchased during 2012.

Source: TGOGC