Friday, April 29, 2011

Breath of Fresh Asthmapolis: GPS Inhalers

Dr. Sickle's previous work involved studying asthma and chronic respiratory disease in India but in developing Asthmaoplis he and his team are seeking to better track the environmental factors and triggers to asthma attacks.  His goal is to map where and when environmental exposures trigger asthma symptoms by using inhalers that have a built-in GPS device that signals the central server whenever the puffer is used.  Of course they will also have access to other sets of data including pollutants, pollen, wind direction which will enable them to better track factors impacting lung disease and overall air quality.

[Via Geekosystem - Better Lives for Asthma Sufferers With GPS Inhalers]

What is Asthmapolis? from Asthmapolis on Vimeo.

ExerGame Potential

  1. By having realtime data on potential "red" or "danger" zones, players can use the GPS to find alternate routes to their destination. Although, after writing that, I realize the potential to send people to not-so desirable areas. Wait a minute.... GPS units already do that.
  2. I could easily see an adapted mobile-motion-gaming title similar to Outbreak! Zombie (location-based RPG). 
  3. Maybe the game could tie into the transit system in case the air quality is so poor and then gamers can play the alternate-reality game (ARG) Chromaroma - as featured here earlier.
Via Droid Life

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Game-On Girls: Pro-social Outcomes of Co-playing VG with parents (study)

Can playing video games with your children (co-play) influence behavioral and family outcomes? The authors of this study sought to determine the role co-playing video games had on family connectedness, levels of aggression, and pro-social behavior. By asking questions from numerous other questionnaires like “How often do you play video games with your parent?, and "My parent is responsive to my feelings and needs/ I am responsive to my child’s feelings and needs.” the researchers used structural equation modeling to determine how video game co-playing is a predictor of adolescents’ internalizing problems, aggression, delinquency, prosocial behavior, and connection with parents.

- n=287 adolescents and their parents
- completed questionnaires on video game play and behavioral and family related questions

- Co-playing video games with parents was associated with decreased levels of internalizing and
aggressive behaviors, and heightened prosocial behavior for girls only.
- Co-playing video games was also marginally related to parent–child connectedness for girls

Exergaming Benefits
- Playing regular games together can bring a sense of connectedness between adolescents and parents, but I think sharing a physical exergaming experience heightens that sense even more (relatedness)
- Imagine designing your the look of your avatar with your parents (autonomy)
- Imagine choosing different dance routines that can compliment your and your parents abilities (competency)
- To follow more on the supports and benefits to exergaming as a family, be sure to check out some of the articles listed below - especially Ann Maloney's work from Maine Medical Center Research Institute.

Coyne, S., Padilla-Walker, L., Stockdale, L., & Day, R. (2011). Game On… Girls: Associations Between Co-playing Video Games and Adolescent Behavioral and Family Outcomes Journal of Adolescent Health DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2010.11.249

Maloney AE, Bethea TC, Kelsey KS, Marks JT, Paez S, Rosenberg AM, Catellier DJ, Hamer RM, & Sikich L (2008). A pilot of a video game (DDR) to promote physical activity and decrease sedentary screen time. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 16 (9), 2074-80 PMID: 19186332

Paez S, Maloney A, Kelsey K, Wiesen C, & Rosenberg A (2009). Parental and environmental factors associated with physical activity among children participating in an active video game. Pediatric physical therapy : the official publication of the Section on Pediatrics of the American Physical Therapy Association, 21 (3), 245-53 PMID: 19680066
For the abstract, check after the jump...

Can We Design a Fit City? (study)

Myth or Fact?
My colleagues and I often discuss the importance of coordinated planning for all municipalities and governments to create a healthier city and citizens. In Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory - he posits that we each have multiple environmental systems that influence our development physically, cognitively, and affectively (Three domains of learning). In using physical activity as an explicit outcome (instead of an implicit factor or by-product of policy changes).

Herrick, C. (2009). Designing the fit city: public health, active lives, and the (re)instrumentalization of urban space Environment and Planning A, 41 (10), 2437-2454 DOI: 10.1068/a41309
[Via Environment and Planning]

New York City. Plan for Entrance to Central ParkThe relationship between the built environment, physical activity, and well-being is currently attracting concerted government attention in the UK which has been formalized through new sets of urban planning and design guidelines. In light of this, the author argues that the domains of intersection between the physical environment and governmental health and social agendas need further exploration. Furthermore, she asserts that urban geographers are theoretically and empirically well placed to undertake valuable and much needed research agendas within these domains. To explore these assertions, the author first sets out the recent turn to physical activity as an explicit policy concern. She then critically interrogates two recent sets of design guidelines, Active Design (Sport England) and the 2008 NICE guidance within the context of current UK policy thinking, before exploring the problematic nature of the instrumental readings of space they present. It is argued that this instrumental rationale may sanction the neglect of the intrinsic value and importance of active lives themselves to urban spaces, which, it is asserted, can have marked impacts on well-being. An appreciation of this opens up new geographical research agendas with respect to the built form, public health, and governance.
[Image by Cornell University Library via Flickr]
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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Kinect Sports sets Guinness Record of 10,000+ Simultaneously ExerGaming

Over the weekend, through Xbox Live and Kinect Sports, 10,539 online pals set the Guinness World Record for 'The Largest Online 100 Metre Sprint'. This is exactly the type of events we need to do to promote healthier and more active lifestyle and is the largest Massively Mulitplayer ExerGaming (MMEG) so far - but it is definitely not the last.

Points 2 Ponder (P2P)
  • What do you do to get people to be more active and have fun?
  • What exergaming event would you like to see attempted next?
Source: Microsoft Kinect shatters hyper-specific Guinness world record

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

It's in the eyes! Screen-time & PA effects on health (study)

Child's PlayImage by Rishi Menon via FlickrAlInfluence of Physical Activity and Screen Time on the Retinal Microvasculature in Young Children

  • n=1765 (boys), n=2238 (girls)
  • Age ~ 6years old
  • Parent-completed surveys
  • Eye tests (retinal images, retinal vessel meaurements)

  • Children who spent more time outside had better eye health (microvasculuture)
  • Children who spent more time watching TV had poorer eye health
  • Each hour daily of TV viewing, is associated with a 10-mm Hg increase in systolic blood pressure.
Lead author Gopinath was quoted saying:
"Replacing one hour a day of screen time with physical activity could be effective in buffering the effects of sedentariness on the retinal microvasculature in children. Free play should be promoted and schools should have a mandatory two hours a week in physical activity for children."

Physical activity enhances endothelial function and increases blood flow resulting in enhanced nitric oxide production, which has a positive effect on the linings of blood vessels (Euekalert).

Click here for more studies involving screen-time in the ExerGame Lab archives. 

Gopinath B, Baur LA, Wang JJ, Hardy LL, Teber E, Kifley A, Wong TY, & Mitchell P (2011). Influence of physical activity and screen time on the retinal microvasculature in young children. Arteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology, 31 (5), 1233-9 PMID: 21508347
Abstract after the break...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Energy expended by boys playing Exergames (study)

Wii BoyImage by SeeBeeW via Flickr
This paper was completed several years ago as a report for Sport and Recreation New Zealand but its always good to see the published paper. Energy Expenditure and Enjoyment During Nintendo® Wii Active Video Games (AVG): How do they compare to other sedentary and physical activities?

  • within-subjects design,  n=26 (boys), ~ 11 years old
  • Categorized into ‘non-users’ (NU), ‘non-frequent users’ (NF) or ‘frequent users’ (FU)
  • Played Wii games (bowl, box, tennis, ski, step) for 8 minutes
  • 60-190% EE increase above rest
  • NSD between walking and AVG (Ski, box, step)
  • AVG not intense enough to contribute to 60 minutes of daily MVPA
Points 2 Ponder (P2P)
  • Given the following statement about intensity, it would have been nice to see a table of the differences of the three groups (NU, NF, FU).
    • "EE during all AVGs was significantly less than EE 
    • during self-paced running. This suggests that even the mostactive AVGs are still performed at a relatively low intensity (≤3 METs) compared to traditional weight baring exercise." (pg 133)
    • Although it was noted "The frequency of AVG game play had no effect on metabolic responses during sedentary activities, walking and running or any AVG."
  • If participants played with peers, would that have changed the outcomes?
  • Were they allowed to choose their own level of play?
White K, Schofield G, & Kilding AE (2011). Energy expended by boys playing active video games. Journal of science and medicine in sport / Sports Medicine Australia, 14 (2), 130-134 PMID: 20810313

Abstract: can be found after the break:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Chromaroma: Gamifying London Transport

GLobal view with Station pop up marker
Chromaroma Small
Chromaroma has made a game of the entire London transport system using its Oyster Card (London’s public transport smart card). Playing in this really well connected subway system ARG, it has taken a notoriously poor place for mobile or GPS reception and made it work using existing technology.

Go on missions and get achievement points, capture stations and set records as you conquer (Tube, bus or cycle) London in a whole new way.

[Via Digital Buzz Blog: Chromaroma: Gamifying London Transport; Images via wearemudlark photostream]

Chromaroma from Mudlark on Vimeo.
Related articles
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Novint's Ultimate FPS Motion Gaming Rig

Novint just revealed its yet to be named dream product mash-up "Self contained, Virtual Reality, Gaming and Training System."  Looking at Tom Anderson (tomlucient Novint's CEO) demo the setup, I can't help but think that all of these products have been featured here (ExerGame Lab) over the past 3 years. I can see the comments and discussion boards already lighting up with excitement and anticipation for its commercialization. Get ready to really feel like to "Be in the game!"



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Centrum Getting Fit (Wii)

In a cross promotion that was bound to happen, Centrum and Nintendo has partnered to promote Centrum's Get Fit initiative where people are encouraged to enter to win a Wii Fit Plus package.

We've already seen partnerships in terms of Nintendo and the American Heart Association endorsing Wii Fit and Wii Sports Resort. That partnership cumulated in the “The Power of Play: Innovations in Getting Active”  summit in January. I was lucky enough to have been invited to speak about the potential games have to be a Gateway Game towards a physically active lifestyle. Below is the video I presented as part of my talk. Thanks again to all the organizers and speakers for such an awesome summit and I look forward to the Report Out.

[Via Nintendo & Centrum Centrum Get Fit]

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Kinect Sports: Calorie Challenge Food Fights Back (DLC)

In announcing their new nutrition-themed DLC, makers of Kinect Sports (Rare Studios) are taking a different stance on using food to be your opponents. To play the challenges, you need to beat your opponents like Blazing Banana and Mighty Milk over a given time period. You compete against the food as each food mascot represents a calorie goal to burn.

This add-on will cost 320 Microsoft Points, is available on April 29, and comes with a series of food items to take on, such as:

  • Blazing Banana (92 calories)
  • Chocolate Challenger (416 calories)
  • Mighty Milk (198 calories)
  • Peppy Pizza (302 calories)
  • Steady Celery (25 calories)
  • Supersonic Soda (133 calories)

Points 2 Ponder:

  • At first I wasn't a fan of "fighting" and competing against foods - especially the healthy ones. But on second thought, nutrition knowledge is at such an all-time low, if kids who don't know anything about the USDA's Nutrition Guidelines, and they know that a banana is 92 least that's a start.  Gotta check to see if a banana is 92 calories.  That seems close but I'll check.
  • Did the designers use calories from a standard nutrition chart?
  • 302 calories for pepperoni pizza seems a little low considering the size and content of many popular slices of pie.
  • You can play against your friends on Xbox Live but I'm not sure what that will look like. Will your friend be their own avatar or that of the food mascot?
Wouldn't It Be Cool (WIBC)
  • It would be great to have a customizable set of game details to include other nutritional components (fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sodium, etc..)
  • Imagine if you could QR code the food you ate during the day and fight the food you ate.  Now that would be a really cool way to learn about energy balance.
  • If these stats and time working out on Kinect could be exported to another profile aggregator (Raptr) there might be a nice built piece to build on for the National Active Gaming League.

[Via Arstechnica: Kinect Sports: Calorie Challenge makes you fight your food; Photos via Joystiq]
Rare's blog and press release after the break:

Got the Muchchies after gaming? (study)

We don't often think about the foods we eat or the volume we consume.  Researchers from EORI in Canada and Danish collaborators conducted a clinical trial to examine the effects video game playing has on appetite and caloric intake.


  • within-subjects design
  • n=22
  • 15-19 years old
  • excluded regular exercisers


  • When given a meal (ad libitum) to eat after playing for an hour, participants consumed on average 80 kcal more than when in the control setting (sitting in a chair).
    • Although 80 kcals doesn't seem like a lot, "eating only 50 additional calories a day — an apple, for instance — will pack on 28 extra kilograms (62 pounds) over 10 years, said Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput, the lead author." As quoted in the National Post.
  • The increase in caloric intake occurred without a corresponding increase in appetite or sensation of hunger.

Points 2 Ponder (P2P)
  • Do different game genres illicit different responses?
  • Participants only played FIFA 09. Was the study delimited to novive FIFA 09 players or novice game players?
  • How often and for how long did these teens play video games and what types?
  • If they were new to the game, of course there would be more anxiety and increases in cardiovascular responses. 
  • If they were novice game players on that system (Xbox 360), using the game controller is a series of complex motor control tasks, which can certainly cause anxiety and increases to cardiovascular responses,
  • I like this statement on page 5-6 "Future research should include novel brain imaging techniques during video game play in an attempt to identify brain areas that might be linked to increased spontaneous food intake."
Chaput, J., Visby, T., Nyby, S., Klingenberg, L., Gregersen, N., Tremblay, A., Astrup, A., & Sjodin, A. (2011). Video game playing increases food intake in adolescents: a randomized crossover study American Journal of Clinical Nutrition DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.110.008680

Check out after the break for more details:

ExerGamer Hands Looks to "Push-Up" into ExerGaming Market

Stay with me on this newly released product called the ExerGamer. So from what I can gather this device with the hand switches and cables attached to your chest essentially act as a joystick/keyboard arrows to "play" your game on a PC. You can either play your games in the push-up position or standing and moving around the ExerGamer "base". I guess the idea is to reposition your hands and body according to your pre-mapped positions.

*BTW - Don't watch the video if you want to know how to play the ExerGamer (6:30 minutes)

Apparently he is also preparing an Exergamer App Store to distribute any games they accept and share 80% of profits with the developers.

Points 2 Ponder:

  • It reads that "vertical movements...[are] comparable to the pressing and releasing of a joystick trigger or left mouse button". 
    • So does that mean in essence doing a push-up?  
    • To shoot or use your trigger you need to do a push-up? 
    • If you were standing up, would you have to jump to use the trigger, left-mouse?
    • Games would be over pretty quickly for any shooting game.
  • I like the customizability of the JS Mapper software as it allows for multiple user preferences and abilities.
  • Being in the plank position for any amount of time is difficult, but having to also look at your laptop on the floor while playing and moving around in your game, essentially forces your neck into an awkward hyper-extended position....ouch.
  • I think it is also seems a little uncomfortable having to do push-ups, move around then have to pick-up your Exergamer Hands and re-position them without leaving the push-up position.
  • I'd like to try the ExerGamer to see how it works. I know the movements would be a fantastic workout, but I worry about the effect on the games and the enjoyment levels.

Click below to read more from the ExerGamer website.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wii Fit Moves Women into Moderate Intensity Physical Activity - MPA (study)

xmd-xfitImage by WindRanch via Flickr

In this recent Wii Fit study, researchers investigated the energy expenditure of young females across different game levels.  Of course it makes sense that different levels will require different movements or more intense or more frequent movements, but until now there has been little in the area of level of game play and energy demands.

Population: Adults (young female)
Number of Participants: n=8
ExerGame Software Title: Wii Fit
Games: Stepping and Hula
Levels: Beginner and Intermediate
Results: Highest energy expenditure and % of VO2 max at intermediate hula - but still in the moderate level of physical activity intensity MPA (~4.5 MET).

Points 2 Ponder (P2P)
  • What does the hardest level look like in terms of VO2, METS, RPE, RER?
  • Did the participants enjoy the games?
  • Was their any correlation between enjoyment and perceived exertion?
Worley, J., Rogers, S., & Kraemer, R. (2011). Metabolic Responses To Wii Fit™ Video Games At Different Game Levels Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318207eae9
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U-Move on Wii, U-Move on Screen. The latest in Speed-Mediated ExerGaming

BLAZE and Fitness First have unveiled the U-Move nunchuk peripheral that has a pedometer built in that shows the number of steps you take while playing and it can also act as a Speed-Mediated ExerGaming - (SMEG) peripheral.  According to the press release, the faster you move (jog in place), the faster your character goes. Now this concept is not new as we've seen Gamercize (MMEG), jOG [formerly New Concept Gaming and now currently Sciatech] (MMEG), Expresso Bike (SMEG) and slew of other examples in the ExerGaming Bike Bonanza Round-Up.

It would appear (until we have a teardown) that U-Move essentially uses the triaxial accelerometer in the nunchuk to activate the thumbstick on the Wii Mote.  Now this looks to be the same mechanism as jOG has,  and for some games I think it would be fun, but for FPS games I'm not so sure it works as well. I guess most serious FPS gamers aren't using a Wii ...but you never know.  

Points 2 Ponder (P2P)
  • In the video (embedded) they say that if you stop moving you lose your energy, but did they mean to say that your character stops moving?
  • One big difference between Gamercize and U-Move is that the game (with U-Move) continues even if you cannot move your character.  Gamercize's mechanism puts the game into pause so nothing can happen to your character if you stop moving.
ExerGame Lab's ExerGaming Categories
MMEG - Movement-Mediated ExerGaming (minimum threshold of movement required, no connection to on-screen play)
NMEG - Non-Mediated ExerGaming (no connection to your on-screen play)
SMEG - Speed-Mediated ExerGaming (the faster you move = the faster your character/vehicle moves)
[Via Engadget:Blaze's U-Move controls your Wii, makes you jog to play effectively]

Check out after the link for the press release and product details.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pokéwalker more accurate than other pedometers on a treadmill (study)

Study Finds Pokéwalker More Accurate Than Other Pedometers: "
Nintendo’s  HeartGold and SoulSilver Pokémon Pokéwalker, is a more accurate pedometer than regular pedometers, according to Lorraine Lanningham-Foster (Iowa State University). 

Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilverImage via WikipediaAt the 2011 Experimental Biology conference in DC, she presented the accuracies of several pedometers of children and adults while walking on a treadmill at four different speeds.   

Kotaku points out that the research isn’t being funded by Nintendo, but by Iowa State’s Nutrition and Wellness Research Center.

Study details:
Participants: 22 children, 8 adults
Walking speeds:  (1.5, 1.8, 2.1, and 2.5 mph for children, 1.5, 2, 2.5, and 3 mph for adults)
Results: With the Pokewalker, the faster the treadmill speeds = lower amount of error. However, looking at the mean percent error is a little disconcerting (32% ± 23 at 1.5 mph, 12% ± 20 at 1.8 mph, 3.2% ± 5.6 at 2.1 mph, and 2.4% ± 4.2 at 2.5 mph). 

Points to Ponder (P2P)
  • Something I'll ask Lorraine is the placement of the PokeWalker.  I know it comes with a belt clip but I also know alot of kids put it in their pocket or back pack.  
  • It would also be interesting to see the results of free-living assessments or longer periods of time. 
  • Is the Pokewalker a piezoelectric device or an accelerometer?
  • The SenseWear Armband actually uses an accelerometer to assess steps and is placed on the back of the upper arm.  Given the discrepancies in the placement of each product - how does this impact the findings?

Lanningham-Foster, L, Foster, R, Barnes, M, Kracke, E, Kling, S, & Vik, M (2011). Step counts from two new systems during treadmill walking in children and adults The FASEB Journal, 25 (April)

Abstract included below:

Friday, April 15, 2011

Earn Virtual Nintendo Chump Change For Walking [3ds]

Via Kotaku: Earn Virtual Nintendo Chump Change For Walking [3ds]: "

With the new Nintendo 3DS debuting to some solid sales (~400,000), besides the "3D display", the units also pack a lot more punch in terms of hardware and software. In particular, it includes a InvenSense MEMS triaxial gyrometer and a STMicroelectronics triaxial accelerometer that makes it more of a motion gaming device and physical activity monitor.  In essence, the 3DS is a six-degrees of freedom controller like the Wii Controller, Playstation Move, or other mobile device.  By carrying the new 3DS around with you, the accelerometer picks up your movements and assigns you Game Coins that can be used in certain games as a form of virtual cash and track your overall physical activity.

To find out more about mobile exergaming, be sure to check out Yoonsin Oh's great work from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

"Nintendo has always been at the forefront of active gaming. Getting up, moving around. Obviously the Wii launched that. As you touched on, we've also done it with a number of handheld games. We had a game called Personal Training Walking that leveraged a pedometer. And obviously the most recent two Pokemon games leveraged a similar type of system." [Via MTV]
Nintendo 3DS "Target Shooting" hands...Image via Wikipedia
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Thursday, April 14, 2011


PuchingPro looks to take the exercise and gaming to a different place and in some ways is the next generation of the Exergame Station. Still in its early stages of development, this interactive project has a lot going for it including its ability to independently change fighting conditions such as: agility, speed and power on a control panel.  It can randomly throw both jabs and hooks at different speeds and from changing directions.  Ding-Ding! Ready....Fight!

WIBC (Wouldn't It Be Cool)

  • Have a scoring system linked to an on-screen display
  • Have an in-game avatar linked and synced to the PunchingPro so that you're really immersed
  • Add an arcade punching game (BMI Gaming featured Boxer One & Dragon Punch) feature like using accelerometers to track total forces exerted and use that to add to the overall score or rating.

[Via Technbob]

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Virtual 100m Dash: Going for Guinness Record?

April 23, 2011 will hopefully mark a world record for most people playing a video game at the same time but this time the players will actually be physically moving as well because everyone will be playing Kinect Sports.

Guinness World Record attempt will take place at:
• 6pm UK Saturday April 23
• 7pm CET Saturday April 23
• 10am PDT Saturday April 23
• 1pm EDT Saturday April 23

According to Rare, a free Xbox Nations gamer pic should be available in the coming week. Downloading it will 'automatically enter you into the record attempt.'  Make sure not to choose the entire track and field event from the menu or it won't count.

Then, start Kinect Sports and 'complete a sprint mini-game while connected to Xbox Live.'  All who download the gamer pic and participate in the record attempt will be rewarded with the Guinness World Records avatar tee (pictured). 

Get Up and Get In The Game! Check out Kinect Sports Facebook Page

Friday, April 8, 2011

High intensity exercises reduce CVD risk factors better than aerobic activities in adolescent youth (study)

This article examines the effects of brief, intense exercise in comparison with traditional endurance exercise on both novel and traditional markers of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in youth.

Buchan, D., Ollis, S., Young, J., Thomas, N., Cooper, S., Tong, T., Nie, J., Malina, R., & Baker, J. (2011). The effects of time and intensity of exercise on novel and established markers of CVD in adolescent youth American Journal of Human Biology DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.21166

We've know for a while the importance of high-intensity exercises and how it can be used to develop fitness levels. Even though the periods (durations) may be shorter than typical aerobic activities, the benefits are usually longer lasting and the improvements to cardiovascular health are more significant.

Exergaming Points to Ponder (P2P)
Which exergames have the potential to illicit short but intense bouts of exercise?  These are some that come to mind, what have I missed?
  1. EyeToy Kinetic (PS2)
  2. Microsoft Kinect [UPDATED 4/15/2011 - Adventures - Rallyball, Reflex Ridge and Space Pop]
  3. Wii Sports Boxing
  4. Trazer 2
  5. Lightspace Wall or Floor
  6. XaviX J-Mat (10 second step test)
  7. Makoto
This article examines the effects of brief, intense exercise in comparison with traditional endurance exercise on both novel and traditional markers of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in youth.

Forty seven boys and ten girls (16.4 ± 0.7 years of age) were divided into a moderate (MOD), high intensity (HIT), or a control group. The MOD group (12 boys, 4 girls) and HIT group (15 boys, 2 girls) performed three weekly exercise sessions over 7 weeks. Each session consisted of either four to six repeats of maximal sprint running within a 20 m area with 20–30 s recovery (HIT) or 20 min continuous running within a 20 m area at ∼70% maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max).

Total exercise time commitment over the intervention was 420 min (MOD) and 63 min (HIT). Training volume was 85% lower for the HIT group. Total estimated energy expenditure was ∼907.2 kcal (HIT) and ∼4410 kcal (MOD). Significant improvements (P ≤ 0.05) were found in systolic blood pressure, aerobic fitness, and body mass index (BMI) postintervention (HIT). In the MOD group, significant (P ≤ 0.05) improvements were noted in aerobic fitness, percentage body fat (%BF), BMI, fibrinogen (Fg), plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, and insulin concentrations.

These findings demonstrate that brief, intense exercise is a time efficient means for improving CVD risk factors in adolescents

Related articles

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Virtual Reality in Stroke Rehab: Meta-Analysis (study)

The current study is one specific to upper-body (arm) rehabilitation post-stroke and therefore was limited to only 12 studies totaling 195 patients, of which only 5 were randomized-controlled studies (RCT). So to generalize these findings to all stroke patients would not be recommended, however, the findings do indicate that almost all studies demonstrated improved motor function by using VR. As we've advocated for a long time, virtual reality/exergames/active gaming technology can be used to improve expected outcomes especially if it is incorporated with other forms of modalities and regiments. 
XaviX EyeHand

Virtual Reality in Stroke Rehabilitation: A Meta-Analysis and Implications for Clinicians -- Saposnik et al., 10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.605451 -- Stroke

doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.605451

Using games and virtual reality to assist patients recovering from stroke, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other neurological disorders and conditions is not a new field. In fact for many years, pioneers like Skip Rizzo (USC) have been cranking away at merging and modifying technologies and therapeutic modalities to best service their patients.  At last year's NIH sponsored workshop on using Virtual Reality to impact obesity and diabetes, Skip, Belinda Lange and Sheryl Flynn presented their work, research and demonstrations of new software related to balance rehabilitation.

Saposnik, G., & Levin, M. (2011). Virtual Reality in Stroke Rehabilitation: A Meta-Analysis and Implications for Clinicians Stroke DOI: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.110.605451

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Blobo to fight blubber? Finland's Squeezable Exergame controller

The Finnish company Ball-it has a buttonless controller and for its own game console that is played on a PC or Mac.  It's been on sale since 2010 but I haven't seen any ads for it in the US or on store shelves.  I wonder what their marketing strategy is for the US?   Currently at their website you can buy the console and Blobo squeezable controller that connects (PC, Mac) via Bluetooth for 60 EUR. A six-degree of freedom controller plus a pressure sensor amounts to what some people are calling a seven-degrees of sensing device that reacts to your movements while holding the device, while the device is tossed in the air, or when it is squeezed.  

The first suite of games (6) looks similar to Wii Play or Wii Sports and altogether it looks to be about 12 games in total, including: sack-race, hulahoop, long-jump, football, and ski-jump.

I haven't seen any studies done on this device yet but I would imagine it would be in the LPA to MPA zones.


  • triaxial accelerometer (STMicroelectronics LIS3LV02DL)
  • magnetometer (Aichi Steel AMI302)
  • pressure sensor (STMicroelectronics LPS001DL)

This is the only device besides the KiloWatt and Sqweeze (formerly of IA Labs) that features a pressure-sensitive controller, although on completely different scales.  This one I believe is the first hand-held pressure sensitive controller and I am excited to see its components be refined and further developed into  other controllers, interfaces and gameplay.

Will you Throw it! Swing it! Squeeze it! to better health?

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