Friday, July 26, 2013

CDC finds 63% of teens play #exergames

iDANCE with teens at HealhtyNOW Teen
Having researchers add the category of active video games / exergames to the list of activities on the Compendium of Physical Activities and the current inclusion in the NYPANS survey are great steps into letting more people to understand their potential. I worry however that they have not considered other categories of exergaming or game platforms besides the ones listed.

Brener ND, Eaton DK, Kann LK, McManus TS, Lee SM, Scanlon KS, Fulton JE, & O'Toole TP (2013). Behaviors Related to Physical Activity and Nutrition Among U.S. High School Students. The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine PMID: 23796969

National data related to physical activity (PA) and nutrition among adolescents are needed to help develop effective obesity prevention programs. The 2010 National Youth Physical Activity and Nutrition Study (NYPANS) was conducted to provide nationally representative data on behaviors and behavioral correlates related to healthy eating and PA.

NYPANS used a three-stage cluster sample design to obtain data representative of public- and private-school students in grades 9 through 12 in the United States (n = 11,429). Students completed an anonymous, self-administered questionnaire in their classrooms during a regular class period. Trained data collectors directly measured the students' height and weight at school using a standard protocol.
Analyses revealed that 19.0% of students were obese and 17.8% were overweight. Students participated in a range of physical activities during the 12 months before the survey; prevalence ranged from 5.0% for ice hockey to 83.9% for walking. In addition, 52.5% of students enjoyed the physical education classes they took at school. During the 7 days before the survey, 74.8% of students ate at least one meal or snack from a fast food restaurant, with black students more likely than white and Hispanic students to have done so. Forty-one percent of students always or most of the time have a TV on while eating dinner at home.

These and other NYPANS results can be used to develop obesity prevention programs that address specific behaviors and behavioral correlates, and target subgroups in which behaviors and behavioral correlates related to obesity are most prevalent.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wii Fit to improve balance in elderly (#Exergame Study)

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Feasibility of Wii Fit training to improve clinical measures of balance in older adults

Numerous interventions have been proposed to improve balance in older adults with varying degrees of success. A novel approach may be to use an off-the-shelf video game system utilizing real-time force feedback to train older adults. The purpose of this study is to investigate the feasibility of using Nintendo’s Wii Fit for training to improve clinical measures of balance in older adults and to retain the improvements after a period of time.

Twelve healthy older adults (aged >70 years) were randomly divided into two groups. The experimental group completed training using Nintendo’s Wii Fit game three times a week for 3 weeks while the control group continued with normal activities. Four clinical measures of balance were assessed before training, 1 week after training, and 1 month after training: Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Fullerton Advanced Balance (FAB) scale, Functional Reach (FR), and Timed Up and Go (TUG). Friedman two-way analysis of variance by ranks was conducted on the control and experimental group to determine if training using the Wii Balance Board with Wii Fit had an influence on clinical measures of balance.


Nine older adults completed the study (experimental group n = 4, control group n = 5). The experimental group significantly increased their BBS after training while the control group did not. There was no significant change for either group with FAB, FR, and TUG.


Balance training with Nintendo’s Wii Fit may be a novel way for older adults to improve balance as measured by the BBS.
Bieryla K.A. & Dold N.M. (2013). Feasibility of Wii Fit training to improve clinical measures of balance in older adults., Clinical interventions in aging, PMID:
Click here to explore more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

Customization in Games:You are the Designer, Director & Player

The buzz on the street is all about customization and in the learning world we call it differentiated learning, in the games world it's customization, in the accessibility world it's usability and customization...either way you shake it, it comes out better for the user.

If you could design an exergame or improve an existing one, what features would you add to make it even more awesome?

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