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Obesity in children is rising and health guidelines have recommended increasing children’s physical activity levels to curb this tendency.1 The association between obesity in children and deprivation has been noted2 and in our study of socially contrasting localities in Glasgow, we have observed the differing aspects of play areas that might influence their use as an activity arena. The play areas differ in both their attractiveness and potential to injure (for example, a harder ground surface in the more deprived area and a softer surface in the more affluent area).