The SPARK Grant-Finder Tool helps you locate funding for your Physical Education, After school, Early childhood or Coordinated School Health program. Grants can be used for curriculum, teacher training, or equipment.
The SPARK Grant-Finder Tool helps you locate funding for your Physical Education, After school, Early childhood or Coordinated School Health program. Grants can be used for curriculum, teacher training, or equipment.
For this teen, things were taken to a whole new level. On Saturday, November 19th, The Active Gaming Company provided the Lightspace Floor as a key feature at a local Bat Mitzvah. The event took place at the Henderson House in Weston, MA.
The City of Largo Florida recently opened their new Highland Recreation Center featuring some of the most amazing amentities of any recreation center we have seen. This location features a huge multi-level playground, full fitness facility, two indoor basketball courts, indoor track and what most would refer to as an outdoor water park, not a pool. Mixed in with all of this excitement was a room they dubbed “ExerPlay”. This room contains the latest in active gaming technology with products from Konami, Lightspace, Makoto, Expresso Fitness and Microsoft.
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
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.
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.
What is it?
Lightspace plays fun games that get kids moving! In both single-player and multi-player mode, the games require players to be physically and socially active. Players choose their game and difficulty level, and Lightspace takes it from there. It senses and responds to their every move and makes the games unpredictable and exciting. Kids work up a sweat, have fun and come back for more. Kids can get their recommended 60 minutes of daily exercise without even realizing they’re “working out.” This is a showcase product for every facility!
Lightspace encourages physical activity, confidence, cooperation and skill-building, all in a non-threatening environment that focuses on fun. Kids love to play. It’s what makes them kids. Lightspace Play systems have hit on the right formula that gets kids excited and keeps them coming back for more. The Lightspace Floor and Wall are made up of individual interactive tiles that can detect the location and force of participants or objects, making each game unique and tailored to the player’s skill level.
This is an Exergaming experience like no other. Lightspace puts physical activity into a game context. Activity becomes entertaining. Kids can run, jump, move, and throw balls in an environment of fun, not one of pressure to perform. Cooperative games require players to work together to beat competing players, adding a dimension of cooperative play to the games. And because the games are responsive to the users, users are able to perfect their skills at their own pace. The games gradually become more difficult as the players become more proficient.
“Some games are simple, with straightforward rules and lower skill requirements. Other games are more complicated. There’s something for everyone.”
Operating the Lightspace System:
The Lightspace Tiles are made out of a polycarbonate shell that will withstand 3000lb of pressure per tile all protected by a vinyl membrane. The wall mount console is constructed of steel and powder coated for protection.
The Lightspace Move Software gives you full control over your content. You decide which games are active, where each game is located, even the game’s length. With this password protected Administration Area, operators can control almost every aspect of their system. The Administration Area also holds a full Diagnostic Suite and displays key reports showing you how much your content is being played.
Maintenance is just as easy. At the end of the day, just clean the surface with a damp cloth or mop and bucket. If your vinyl covering becomes dirty or damaged, all that is needed to replace is the vinyl. The Lightspace Move System also ships with a spare tile. If for some reason you are having issues with a tile, simply disconnect it, pull it right up and drop in the spare. Everything is back up and running in less than five minutes.
- Simple (UI) user interface which allows kids to choose Games, Activities & Lightshows”
- Audio prompts and game instructions make playing every activity easy
- Visually stunning and appealing. The Lightspace emits vivid LED colors when being used
- Socially fun, the Lightspace generates a competitive or co-op physical activity games
- Active learning games help students think and learn while playing the games
- Use a variety of accessories such as basketballs, jump ropes and more to enhance the system
- Flush mounted touchscreen allows for more free space at every facility
- User statistical data is saved on the system such as game time, high scores etc
- On-board diagnostic system making service easy. Updates come in the form of Disc or USB input
- Develops fitness skills, social interaction & combines physical activity with engaging technology
Develops Fitness Skills
Lightspace will develop the same skills that regular fitness programs develop: endurance, coordination, agility, and flexibility, as well as strategic thinking and memory. Kids would need to participate in several sports to get the same benefits. Lightspace has 7 games for the play floor, Dodgeball, Bug Invasion, Musical Squares, Tennis Pro, Memory Buster, Zero Gravity, and Knock Down. As kids move from one game to the other, they improve different skills without breaking their rhythm or losing their enthusiasm.
Promotes healthy social interaction
Most video games provide a personal experience. Even 2-player games usually require the kids to focus on the screen in front of them. Lightspace’s unique surface allows players to interact with one another. The nature of the gaming experience fosters communication and healthy interaction between players.
Combines physical activity and electronic entertainment
With the increasing rate of obesity among children, physically interactive video games are an effective and increasing popular form of exercise. The combination of physical movement and the competitive nature of video games has many previously sedentary children spending several hours a week engaging in aerobic activity and enjoying it. Lightspace is an excellent source of entertainment, and a fun way to keep fit.
How many users does it accommodate?
The Lightspace Floor can handle 1 player to 8 players depending on the game. Typically load is 4 players competing competitively or cooperatively.
What is the age range of users?
5 years old to senior
How much space does it take up?
11 x 11
What is the warranty?
1 Year Warranty - 6 Months Parts
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