Lisa Witherspoon: PEC’s Active Gaming Editor
Lisa Witherspoon: PEC’s Active Gaming Editor
We are pleased to announce that Dr. Lisa Witherspoon has joined The Active Gaming Company. Dr. Witherspoon comes to us with years of experience in the active gaming field and brings the knowledge and expertise that is needed to further develop our concepts. She will be serving The Active Gaming Company in mulitple capacities. First, filling a key role on our Board of Advisors and secondly, she will be in charge of programming and curriculum development.
“Having Dr. Witherspoon on board separates The Active Gaming Company from the competition. It puts us in a very powerful and confident position. We are able to validate products on both technology and the medical benefits that they have through research.” says Gary Florindo, Founder of The Active Gaming Company.
About Dr. Witherspoon
Dr. Witherspoon is an Assistant Professor in the School of Physical Education and Exercise Science at the University of South Florida. She received her undergraduate in K-12 Health and Physical Education in 2000 and her master’s in Health Promotion in 2004 both from Virginia Tech. Her doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction was earned at The University of South Florida in the summer of 2009 while working as the Co Director of the USF Active Gaming Research Laboratory and teaching undergraduate courses. She joined the faculty at USF in the fall of 2009. Dr. Witherspoon’s research is focused on technology driven physical activities called Active Gaming. She is working as the Coordinator for all active gaming research projects at USF. She studies the effects that 21st century technology driven physical activities may have on various populations, with a central focus being with children. Dr. Witherspoon has published manuscripts and video publications relative to her research interests. She serves on National committees and Advisory and Editorial Boards related to physical education, active gaming, sports, and fitness concepts. Dr. Witherspoon’s continued passion is to meet generations ‘where they are’ in terms of interests and desires in order to help guide them as individuals in gaining and/or maintaining physically active lifestyles.
Dr. Witherspooon’s teaching responsibilities include both the undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of South Florida. Undergraduate courses include: Elementary Instructional Design and Content, Health and Physical Education for the Child, Elementary and Secondary Physical Education Internship, and Health, Safety, Nutrition, Motor Skills for the Young Child and Coaching Principles. Graduate courses include: Analysis of Research on Teaching Physical Education.
Lisa Witherspoon Ph.D. Co Director – USF Active Gaming Research Labs 4202 East Fowler Ave, PED 227 Tampa, FL 33620 Office – 813-974-1146 Fax – 813-974-4979
The childhood obesity epidemic in America is a BIG problem. Over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled; and nearly one third of children in America are now overweight or obese. This video focuses on one of the solutions – getting kids moving in school and explains why Quality Physical Education can play such an important role in ending this epidemic.
The Active Gaming Company believes the Spark program makes a positive difference in the lives of kids around the country because of their researched based programs that have been proven to get results. We encourage all schools to get involved and contact Spark to see what they can do for your school. They have a wonderful Grant Finder tool to help you with obtaining funding for this program.
The Active Gaming Company uses products that combine physical activity, learning and technology called Exergaming or Active Gaming that are a great add-on to any existing Spark program or school looking to keep kids active. You can find a list of these products on our Active Gaming product page.
The Spark Program
SPARK strives to improve the health of children, adolescents, and adults by disseminating evidence-based Physical Education, After School, Early Childhood, and Coordinated School Health programs to teachers and recreation leaders serving Pre-K through 12th grade students.
The Lightspace Move Wall combines the latest in interactive technology with software controlled content that will provide hours of fun and exercise for kids and adults of all ages and abilities. Conduct relay-races as the wall is perfect for this type of setting! The system is capable of storing and running a potentially limitless variety of games and interactive programs that can be used by multiple participants simultaneously.
The Lightspace Move Wall creates an engaging experience that will draw young children, teenagers and adults to activities what will excite and entertain them, all while keeping them active and fit. The Move Wall is controlled and powered via the Lightspace Console.
Check this out!
- Keeps children active in a safe and entertaining environment
- Tests both mental and physical ability
- Variety of games for a cardiovascular and goal driven workout
- Operators can customize the length of games, cost and difficulty level
- Extremely durable tiles can withstand up to 3000lb pressure
For more information on the industries leading Active Gaming / Exergaming product, please visit the Lightspace Wall page.
Check out the Lightspace Wall in Action:
Click on the video tabs to scroll through Lightspace Wall Games
It’s a win-win for parents and kids: if you’re having trouble convincing your kids to follow the government’s advice to get moving, a new study suggests you can just leave them alone with their video games.
Okay, so not all video games can boost children’s exercise levels, but the latest research shows that games that require the most physical activity are enough to help youngsters break a sweat and reach recommended levels of moderate to vigorous activity.
Scientists at Brigham Young University and the University of Massachusetts report Monday in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine that activity-based video games, better known as “exergames,” can help children expend at least as much energy — and with some games, even up to twice as much — as walking on a treadmill.
(More on Time.com: Obesity: The First Lady Takes on the NRA (No, Not That NRA))
While previous studies have documented the benefits of games such as Dance Dance Revolution and others on the Wii and PlayStation systems, study co-author Bruce Bailey, a professor in exercise sciences at Brigham Young, wanted to learn more about how much impact the games could have on children’s fitness. “We were interested in what can children get out of them,” he says. “If they chose the right games and the right levels, could they improve their energy expenditure enough so they might have a positive impact on body weight and body composition?”
It turns out they can. Compared to the energy they used while remaining sedentary for 15 mins. in the lab, the 39 boys and girls in the study burned up to seven times as much energy after 10 mins. of playing the various exergames. Bailey and his co-author Kyle McInnis of University of Massachusetts studied six exergames, three that are popular on the consumer market, and three that are used widely in commercial children’s fitness centers and schools.
Wii Boxing, the researchers found, involved the least energy investment, requiring as much as walking on a treadmill for 10 mins. The other five games tested, which included Dance Dance Revolution, Cybex Trazer Goalie Wars, LightSpace Bug Invasion, Sportwall and Xavix J-Mat, involved, in order, increasingly greater levels of energy expenditure. Kids used twice as much energy when they used the Xavix system, on which they played sports or games on a mat that detected their movements, as when they walked on the treadmill.
Lightspace Floor Bug Invasion Demo:
(More on Time.com: Are Working Moms to Blame for Childhood Obesity?)
Not only were the participants using more energy than when on a treadmill, but when Bailey and Innis asked the youngsters about how much they liked the games, not surprisingly they were all enthusiastic about the play. “We can put kids on a treadmill, but the likelihood over a long period of time is that it will be difficult to keep the children focused and interested,” says Bailey. “If we use something like [exergames], where they want to participate and want to be involved, I think it might benefit both them and everyone trying to deal with the issue of improving physical activity levels.”
The study is among the first to document that exercise during exergaming can reach levels of what experts define as moderate or vigorous physical activity, and the next step is to start testing these programs in schools to determine whether they can have a real impact on children’s physical activity levels. Bailey was particularly encouraged by the fact that the overweight children in the study liked the exergames the most, which suggests that the video games could be an effective way to entice heavier children to start becoming more active. “If these activities can increase energy expenditure, they can reach some children who might not otherwise be reached by traditional PE programs,” he says.
(More on Time.com: Is School Lunch Making Your Kids Fat?)
Tests in school systems will also help researchers get a better idea for how lasting the benefits might be. Children are notoriously fickle after all: they may become enamored of new and different exergame-based programs, but then may quickly tire of them, just as they get bored of the rote nature of physical education classes. In an editorial accompanying the study, James Sallis, a psychologist at San Diego State University, notes:
The effect on energy expenditure and health outcomes is determined by the frequency, intensity, duration and types of games used in everyday life. Findings to date regarding this topic indicate that regardless of how frequently adolescents play the games when they first obtain them, use typically declines within a few weeks or months.
As with any program aimed at children and teens, the key to exploiting the benefits of exergames may be in holding students’ attention long enough to get them hooked on physical activity in general. By starting them out on video games, the hope is that kids will start to want to engage in other kinds of physical activity, such as sports or other organized activity outdoors. At some point, once children get bored with simulating exercise indoors, health officials hope they’ll be motivate to get outdoors and do the real thing.
For nearly a decade, George Velarde’s innovative fitness programs at Sierra Vista Junior High School have challenged our old-school philosophy on physical education. Under his “New P.E. Philosophy,” the teacher incorporates technological advancements with educational gaming, simultaneously boosting fitness and Academic Performance Index ratings.
Intrigued, legislators on Capitol Hill invited Velarde to speak to Congress last week, educating them on his Sierra Vista program and how the school has utilized grant money awarded in 2008.
“They said, ‘We’ve given out these grants since 2002. From the data that you have collected and all the information you’ve provided for us, you’re grant by far has been the most successful,’” Velarde said.
Already recognized by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports as a national demonstration center, the prestige has drawn the interest of North Korea, South Korea, China and Canada, with dignitaries from each country visiting Sierra Vista in the past 12 months.
“We had a plan from day one how we’re going to implement all these different programs into our Sierra Vista program,” he said.
Part of that plan includes the utilization of heart rate monitors, which students wear while performing a mix of activities.
“There were many questions Congress asked, but the one issue they focused on was assessment. How do we assess? I explained to them that at Sierra Vista we assess by using heart rate monitors for cardiovascular assessment,” said Velarde. “I explained to them that it’s no longer subjective grading, it’s objective grading.”
In Washington, Velarde also stressed exercise how can increase academic performance if synced properly.
“While our classes are exercising in our fitness center, students are able to watch three giant screens, reviewing for benchmark tests, vocabulary and other key concepts while exercising.
“I gave them full detail of how our program looks and feels. It was definitely the highlight of my career.”
Original Media Source: Give em a visit!
|Written by Christopher Glotfelty|
|Wednesday, 23 March 2011 13:00|
Now, this is probably not the PE class you had when you were a kid but its time to exercise at Belle Witter Elementary in Tampa, kids hit the video games, not the tether ball. And we know this, children are supposed to get 60 minutes a day of exercise. Well thats not happening.
With child obesity rising and kids exercising dropping, educators are consistently trying to craft new and exciting ways to get kinds PUMPED UP about fitness…its a challenge.
According to NASPE, less than a third of kids exercise to sweat, they spend thee hours or more a day watching TV or play videogames and one in 3 kids are overweight or obese and does not make exercise a priority.
So, how do we get our children up and moving around? Well maybe you think videogames are to blame for the next generation of couch potatoes, but maybe they don’t have to be?
Let us show you how Exergaming / Active Gaming is revolutionizing fitness across the board!
“Videogame Arcade or PE Class?
At Belle Witter Elementary in Tampa teachers encourage a Dance, Dance revolution and other videogames during the school day.
“It doesn’t matter if its playing a video-game or if they are running on a treadmill, as long as the heart-rate is elevated then your receiving the same physiology benefits. If implemented correctly, the games can serve as an appropriate physical activity to elevate heart-rate, skip kids on task and get them moving instead of sedentary”
Interested in Active Gaming (Exergaming)?
Contact us to find out more information on how we can provide schools with a simple and easy solution on implementing this popular form of exercise and learning. Our team of experts will show you how to raise money for your school and work hand-in-hand with you to create a fun, engaging and sustainable concept that will be the perfect add-on to your PE program!
Whether you are working in a clinical setting, school-based setting or a public health setting, if you are considering establishing an obesity screening or surveillance program, Assessment of Children contains valuable information that can help you decide which program is right for you and how to proceed. Assessment of Children will introduce you to the basic components of a Body Mass Index or BMI Screening Program or a BMI Surveillance Program and will give you examples of the kind of information you can generate with each. It has a brief section on “Initiating Interventions with Parents” and answers many basic questions about BMI and BMI z-scores.
This interactive tool permits health care professionals to calculate BMI and plot BMI percentiles on the CDC growth charts for children ages 2 to 20.
If you are a health care professional seeking more information, please visit our Professional Center.
Do you have a child you think may be overweight or obese? The purpose of this Parent’s Guide is to explain how overweight is assessed in adults and children. We discuss some of the essential components of successful approaches to weight management in children. Our goal is to provide you with the basic information you will need as a parent or caregiver of an overweight child. The information in this guide will provide a basis for you to identify professional resources in your community that you can reasonably expect to help you and your family work together to help your overweight child.
Some of the above files are provided in PDF format. You will need Adobe Reader in order to view them. To download Adobe Reader, click on the button below.
BOSTON, MA — The idea of active gaming being used as a means of physical education, learning and a tool in the fight against obesity is no longer a concept looking for proof. The use of active gaming has been proven by numerous medical studies and the research shows the benefits. The challenge is to decide on what products to use and how exactly to use them. This is the opportunity that was seen by The Active Gaming Company.
“we design, manufacture and sell our own products as well as assist our partners in these areas. It allows us to better understand and support the products that we work with.”
Formed by industry professionals and long standing relationships, The Active Gaming Company is positioned as a leader in the space. The knowledge of fitness, technology, design and manufacuring will prove to be a great differentiator for this company and a clear advantage for their clients.
“This unique business model makes us very different. We are not a typical distributor housing other companies’ products and offering them for sale with little knowledge of the inner workings and support challenges. In fact, we design, manufacture and sell our own products as well as assist our partners in these areas. It allows us to better understand and support the products that we work with. This translates to a better overall experience for our customers. This is not the wave of the future, It’s is happening today”, said Gary Florindo, CEO of The Active Gaming Company
This fun, engaging and quantified concept creates an environment for positive health changes and delivers long-term sustainability as they look to make a major impact on the growing epidemic of obesity and inactivity on a global scale, focusing on childhood obesity and its morbid effects not only on current generations, but on the next generation of our children and adults as well.
Interactive games can be as effective as moderate-to-vigorous exercise at boosting metabolism rates. Interactive video games can be as good as outdoor sports when it comes to keeping young people fit. That’s according to a new study which finds that some video games are as effective as moderate-to-vigorous exercise at boosting the metabolism rates of children.
Parents and educators often worry that young people spend too much time sitting in front of their computers playing video games, and too little time exercising. But the research team discovered that playing certain kinds of interactive video games is a pretty good way to work up a sweat.
“So what we found was that these types of video games can increase physical activity to moderate-to-vigorous levels, assuming that the appropriate games and appropriate levels are chosen,” says Bruce Bailey, professor of exercise science at Brigham Young University. “And, if they participate, it can be something that can meet the guidelines for physical activity.”
Bailey and his colleagues studied the effects of various types of popular interactive video games in which players’ physical movements are transferred electronically to computer-screen action. They worked with 39 children whose average age was 11 years old.
The children were asked to play several so-called exergames, which include boxing, dancing and soccer video games. For the sake of comparison, they were also asked to walk on a treadmill set at three miles per hour for equal lengths of time. The results showed that the children utilized more energy on five out of the six active games than on the treadmill.
“It probably will not solve the epidemic of obesity but it could be a useful tool for parents and health professionals who are trying to increase physical activity in children, help them be more physically active,” says Bailey, “especially in those children who enjoy video gaming and maybe don’t enjoy other forms of physical activity.”
Experts agree that television watching, web-surfing and other sedentary pastimes have contributed to the epidemic of obesity in American children. The new video games, which promote physical activity, can help counter this trend and perhaps encourage kids to engage in other forms of exercise and outdoor sports.
“Kids need to get outside,” says Dr. Deb Lonzer, a pediatrician at Cleveland Clinic, who finds the results encouraging. “There are a lot of other ways that they need to get exercise but this is a great starting point for kids because you can do it year round. It keeps them engaged, it’s fun, and it actually works to help them get their metabolic rates up, burn calories, and lose some weight.”
The researchers note that not all exergames are equally beneficial. For example, Wii’s boxing game involves more movement than Wii golf, and levels within the same game can involve very different levels of physical activity. Also, the study doesn’t give a green light to all forms of video games. Researchers say more study is needed to measure other physiological effects of exergaming, and to see if it really does inspire kids in general to become more physically active.
The active gaming products we design and deliver must fit into what we call our “Interactive Fitness and Engagement Guidelines”. All products must … [Read More...]
We offer a wide variety of solutions to fit most any market when it comes to Active Gaming including YMCA’s, Schools, JCC’s, Park Districts, … [Read More...]
Our partnerships with the top providers of programming and nutritional plans will put you in control of what you offer your clients. There are many ways of … [Read More...]