Lisa Witherspoon: PEC’s Active Gaming Editor
Lisa Witherspoon: PEC’s Active Gaming Editor
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
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.
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