Wednesday, February 29, 2012

PE Exergame Workshop & Naperville PE: A Dream Come True

Had a great day touring the Bulls Sox Academy, Naperville Central HS Learning Readiness in PE with Paul Zientarski (photo below with Lisa Witherspoon - USF), and Madison Middle School (where the late Phil Lawler developed his program.) I've been dreaming of visiting Naperville for a decade now, so its great to have actually seen it in action. In some ways seeing their dedication and passion to helping their students achieve their best was just as overwhelming as their facilities and equipment. I will have to spend a long time debriefing myself before I can truly express the depth of their programs and impact. We will be attending the Phil Lawler DuPage PE Conference on Friday after our PE Exergame Workshop on Thursday. Check out the photos and videos below to see what we've seen...

Click here to explore more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

PE Pre-Conference Exergame Workshop

We are all super excited to be participating in the 1st PE Exergame Workshop to the Phil Lawler (DuPage County) PE Institute Day (Naperville, IL) on March 2, 2012. 

Lots of great people in a top notch facility for sports and exergaming (Bulls/Sox Academy)

 Presenters Include
·         Dan Lawler, Ph. D. - Retired Principal
·         Stephen P. Yang, Ph. D.-ABD - SUNY Cortland 
·         Lisa Witherspoon, Ph. D. – University of South Florida
·         Ernie Medina, Jr., Dr. PH, CHFS – Preventative Medicine Specialist
·         George Velarde – California Physical Educator of the Year
·         Sharon Warren – Polar Electro Education
·         Dave Kurland – Chicago Bulls Director

Purpose: Professional Development / Exergame Education Workshop for PE teachers, Administrators, Superintendants. School and After-School programs. Non-Profits. Foundations.
Description: This Professional Development / Exergame Education Workshop shows you the exciting possibilities of how using technology, combined with games and physical activity, can enhance and enrich the lives of generations.
The workshop will be located at the state-of-the-art Chicago Bulls Sox Training Academy in Lisle, IL, featuring the best Exergaming / Active Game facility in the world.
Teachers who attend the pre-conference will hear information from leaders in the field about how ExerGaming can help educators to be even more effective in reaching our youth. Participants will find this full-day ExerGaming pre-conference fun, educational, and invaluable in helping to promote high-quality physical education and physical activity to maximize the educational experience.
Topics include:
·         Medical view on how a sedentary lifestyle is impacting our children with life-long disease.
·         A successful School and Community Model overview, showing results of improved academics, improved disciplinary incidents, and improved health and fitness scores.
·         Implementing Technology and Exergaming in your facility. Putting knowledge into practice.
·         How do we prove it is working? Using technology to revolutionize physical education.
·         Time in vs. Time Out. Help students with ADHD and other behavior issues decrease impulsivity and improve learning. Explains the physiology of the attention system.
·         Quality teaching in a Physical Education setting, which meets the NASP standards and promotes lifelong fitness.

Click here to explore more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Will Nike+'s Gamification of Workout(s)?

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Nike+ (Nike+ Pressure Sensors) is adding more gear to those things we used to call sneakers. These new pressure sensors and accelerometers will be mounted inside specific hoops and cross-training shoes with all the data being fed back to your iPhone via Bluetooth.

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The new shoes feature four embedded sensors – in the toe, heel, ball and outer foot, with an internal accelerometer so that the measured movement is more precise. 

Besides tracking sports specific data wirelessly one of the features they are hoping to catch on is the use of leaderboards and the ability to share your stats with your friends to see who is the fastest, jumps the highest, etc.. In many ways we've done these activities to see who can throw the farthest or run the fastest, but these new tools will give all users so much more information about your performance and what I love about it is the long term tracking of skill and health related fitness - one area schools are not particularly good at.

Having all students use and own Nike +, a specific shoe, and iPhone is unreasonable....well maybe not to Nike and Apple... but I love the potential health informatics data collection side of this new product. I alsp have concerns because I know I have a hard time wearing Nike shoes because of my foot prontation, wide feet, and  Nike typically designs for narrower feet. What other concerns do you foresee for this system or how might you use this with your group, school, family?

new nike plus 03

Shoes with the new  will be available starting June 29th, 2012. You’ll find the new features available in the Nike Hyperdunk+ basketball shoe, and the Lunar Hyperworkout+ for women and Lunar TR1+ for men.

[via CoolHunting and Nike+ Steps Up Its Game with Pressure Sensors and Accelerometers:]

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Fitness Monitoring for the Classroom

New Fitness Monitoring for the Classroom:
Interactive Health Technologies announced that it was partnering with Sony to provide the NFC Dynamic Tag (FeliCa Plug) in the Spirit System, which is now available to schools across America.

With this fitness monitoring is streamlined with a classroom management system for teachers, and in turn enhances the overall PE experience with students. From a simple tap of a Spirit Heart Rate Monitor student information can be automatically transferred to and tracked on the Spirit System through NFC/FeliCa contractless communication. The system effectively measures each student’s cardio activity allowing educators to evaluate the student’s physical activity and endurance.
“The crisis of childhood obesity we collectively face in our nation demands innovative, new solutions,” says Jen Ohlson, Founder of Interactive Health Technologies. The IHT Spirit System with Sony NFC Dynamic Tag uses technology to motivate children to develop healthy habits that will last a lifetime, a PE and fitness model for the 21st Century.”

It's great to see big groups start to put solutions together for NFC and other health IT initiatives, however I do see problems with the traditional HRM as it is uncomfortable to wear all day. I am really pleased to see the many wrist watch, ring and other devices out there that can be worn all day much more unobtrusively.

Games for Health Journal

Games for Health Journal: Research, Development, and Clinical Applications - is now live and online at

Here are a couple of the great exergaming articles from this first issue:

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