Friday, October 6, 2017

5th Fit-In Conference: Play + Game + Tech = Health

 I had the distinct honor of speaking at the 5th Annual Fit-In Conference at SUNY Cortland's Sensory Integration Motor Sensory (SIMS) Lab run out of the Physical Education Department and Dr. Tim Davis.  I was given a small window of time to provide a glimpse of where technology might be a benefit to Special Ed or Adapted PE students, assistive learning and fitness facilities, and even in the home and communities. It was a pleasure to meet so many dedicated practitioners, educators, and researcher shaping programs and improving health of people with a varied abilities.





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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Ping Ping Pong Pong Kinect Exergaming

A research arm from Singapore is showcasing some work done to encourage physical activity in older adults (seniors).

Using a Kinect sensor to interact with a simple ping-pong game interface, seniors can game their way to better health.

For the task of selective attention, two balls will fly out simultaneously, where only the ball of a specific colour is the target.
For the inhibition task, the ball in some rounds will be of a different colour, and players are required to ignore balls of a given colour while hitting balls of other colours. The innovative data analysis tools at the back end enable healthcare professionals to easily track the health conditions of each individual elderly user under their care, and assist in crafting personalized training programs.

Ping Ping Pong Pong (A Motion-based Physio-cognitive Sport Game)

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Meta-Analysis of Exergaming on Physical Activity

Although not surprising, a meta-analysis of 11 RCT studies found that  playing exergames was one way to accumulate more physical activity for overweight individuals. Due to the differences in methodologies and inconsistent findings, no relationships were able to be established for patients with Type II diabetes. It does stand to reason that if you want more physical activity that can be done at home, exergaming might be one way to engage the target population and maybe others at home. What interventions need to focus on is the implementation at schools and community to be truly effective for long-lasting results or gateway to other physical activities.






ResultsOf 2845 records, 14 publications (11 studies) met the inclusion criteria. All included studies (ten experimental, cross-sectional laboratory studies and one RCT) were able to show increases in either VO2, EE, HR, or activity counts. However, effects of exergaming in terms of changes in these intensity parameters varied significantly between game modes and consoles as well as because of the vastly differing durations of exergame activity between studies. One of the included studies had a low risk of bias, and three had a high risk of bias; seven studies had an unclear risk of bias as the study description was insufficient. No studies were found investigating the changes in objectively measured PA intensity parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Abstract
Background
The majority of patients with overweight and type 2 diabetes show insufficient levels of daily physical activity (PA) and usually are among the least likely to engage in or adhere to any form of generic PA. Active video games (exergames) may be a solution to motivate these individuals to overcome their sedentary lifestyle.
Objectives
This systematic review was conducted to review the current evidence for the effectiveness of exergaming in overweight and type 2 diabetes mellitus and thus to evaluate the suitability of these games to be used as tools for exercise promotion that meet current PA guidelines.
Methods
We searched electronic bibliographic databases (PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, OpenGrey, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials) up to March 2015. Randomized controlled trials (RCT) and cross-sectional studies published in English in a peer-reviewed journal and analyzing the effects of exergames on objectively measured intensity parameters of PA in overweight (body mass index [BMI] ≥25 kg/m2) adults (mean age ≥18 years) with and without type 2 diabetes were included. Study selection, data extraction, and quality assessment were performed independently by two review authors. Primary outcomes included changes in oxygen uptake (VO2), energy expenditure (EE), heart rate (HR), or activity counts. Secondary outcomes were enjoyment of treatment, exercise adherence, ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), changes in body composition, and changes in blood parameters (serum glucose, long-term blood glucose, blood cholesterol, triglycerides, or serum lactate).
Results
Of 2845 records, 14 publications (11 studies) met the inclusion criteria. All included studies (ten experimental, cross-sectional laboratory studies and one RCT) were able to show increases in either VO2, EE, HR, or activity counts. However, effects of exergaming in terms of changes in these intensity parameters varied significantly between game modes and consoles as well as because of the vastly differing durations of exergame activity between studies. One of the included studies had a low risk of bias, and three had a high risk of bias; seven studies had an unclear risk of bias as the study description was insufficient. No studies were found investigating the changes in objectively measured PA intensity parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Conclusion
This review suggests that exergames are able to increase PA among overweight individuals. However, the inconsistent results and the overall poor or moderate methodological quality do not permit judgment on whether exergames are suitable to meet PA guidelines in this target group. The lack of research regarding the effects of exergames in type 2 diabetes indicates a great need for future research.


Effects of Exergaming on Physical Activity in Overweight Individuals


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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Active gaming benefits brain health #exergaming


There have been some mixed results about the effectiveness of basic brain training games and their impact on cognitive function. In general, we tend to see some low to moderate gains in certain brain processes, but they tend to be short lived and typically specific to the type of testing or assessment used.

In this meta-analysis of RCT, the authors found that across the 17 included studies, exergames were found to improve executive function, attentional processing and visuospatial skills in older people and people with neurocognitive deficits.

Let's get playing!

Abstract
Physically-active video games (‘exergames’) have recently gained popularity for leisure and entertainment purposes. Using exergames to combine physical activity and cognitively-demanding tasks may offer a novel strategy to improve cognitive functioning. Therefore, this systematic review and meta-analysis was performed to establish effects of exergames on overall cognition and specific cognitive domains in clinical and non-clinical populations. We identified 17 eligible RCTs with cognitive outcome data for 926 participants. Random-effects meta-analyses found exergames significantly improved global cognition (g = 0.436, 95% CI = 0.18–0.69, p = 0.001). Significant effects still existed when excluding waitlist-only controlled studies, and when comparing to physical activity interventions. Furthermore, benefits of exergames where observed for both healthy older adults and clinical populations with conditions associated with neurocognitive impairments (all p < 0.05). Domain-specific analyses found exergames improved executive functions, attentional processing and visuospatial skills. The findings present the first meta-analytic evidence for effects of exergames on cognition. Future research must establish which patient/treatment factors influence efficacy of exergames, and explore neurobiological mechanisms of action.
Link:  Study suggests active gaming benefits brain health | Alzheimer's Research UK:

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Monday, May 22, 2017

4Active Exergaming at 2017 FIBO

Finnish company CSE has released their multiplatform exergame system 4Active and it was nominated at 2017 FIBO in the Fitness, Wellness & Health category.

I haven't seen much from this company but it looks like one of their systems uses an XBox Kinect to play some customized games while the other system is a multi-player dance game that doesn't have near the development or player status and feedback like iDance by Postive Gaming.




4Active Exergaming: Trendsport virtual fitness games - FIT FOR FUN:

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Zwift exergaming bike

Get cycling at home but with your Zwift bike you can compete with people from all over the world.

Much like the other exergaming bikes reviewed here and here, Zwift allows for multiple platforms, group based rides, virtual simulator, all while connected to your indoor cycle trainer setup such as Wahoo, Tacx, and Kinetic.

Zwift translates your real world effort into speed in the digital one. Your power, measured by the watts you produce, propels you through the digital landscape.
Just like the real world, your speed is adjusted for your height, weight and the road gradient. We even give you credit for drafting.






Zwift review: the return of the home exercise bike:



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