Wednesday, January 23

Government Spending £372m on Anti-Obesity Strategy

Active Southampton Shows the Way

Olympic and Commonwealth medallists Peter Waterfield and Iwan Thomas are joined by BBC's Roger Johnson to promote today's launch of the city's initiative to get Southampton active.

On the same day the government announces plans for "anti-obesity" spending of £372 million,including £30m to be spent in creating several healthy towns.

Southampton could already be a healthy town, with all the clubs, sport, indoor and outdoor opportunities to be active there should be no excuses. Yet Active Southampton chair, Jayne Ludden, announces "45% of Southampton adults lead a sedentary lifestyle".

The government, in its latest strategy, is planning to use £75m for just advertising and awareness. Getting the message across to be active is clearly going to be the biggest challenge for the Active Southampton partnership too.

To address this the partnership has appointed ambassadors and also plans to be a one-stop-shop on where and how to be active. At the launch today, Young Ambassadors said the aim is to "inspire and engage both young and old to be more active".

Having met many focused and dedicated individuals from the launch event, I would say that the initiative has every chance of succeeding. As Southampton is the home town of Gamercize - providing the technology for fitness and motivation to all, from office workers to school children - we will be getting involved to help out too.

Monday, January 21

Gamercize Goes to School

Children Vote for Exercise

Last week Derbyshire Sport invited us to a local school to find out a bit more about Gamercize.
Well over a hundred children had the chance to play on GameCubes and PlayStations linking through the GZ Sport to Power Steppers and Endurance Cycles.
After the kids had clocked up a combined 89 miles and over 200,000 steps, they were asked to vote if they thought Gamercize was Great :) , OK : or Rubbish :(
Even after the effort of exercising, 123 out of the 129 voted Gamercize "Great". 5 Said it was "OK" and just one didn't like it.
Some children preferred Mario Double Dash, some Mario Smash Football and some Lego Star Wars. The point being there was something for everyone. What is there to learn from this? If you want children to do extra exercise, make it fun, interesting and give them choice. 95% Of children can't be wrong; Gamercize is Great!

Friday, January 18

BBC Gains Balance

Life Balance of Exercise and Eating

I criticised an anonymous article from the BBC earlier this month for being unbalanced and sensationalist. Now, I am very pleased to see the bias properly addressed.

Health reporter, Clare Murphy, has written a far better article, obviously from careful research and a clear understanding of issues surrounding obesity. Included are these centrepiece quotes which help outline the misconception that weight is linking only to what you eat:

But ironically, despite the fact that today's children no longer see crisps as a treat, the older generation probably consumed more fat.

The 1950s child also took more exercise, and the balance between food and energy expenditure is a key one.

So perhaps we can stop blaming food for lack of fitness and weight issues, and now look at both sides of the equation; Eating and exercise need to be balanced.

Thursday, January 10

Gamercize on the Dark Side

Forever burn your calories it will

Gamercize has been mentioned a little bit in on the web, in magazines and newspapers since the launch of the desk based GZ PC-Sport.
Reactions from customers are obviously the most important, after all it was listening to what our customers wanted that created the product.
It is nice to hear of the accolades given to the product. Making it into PC Magazine's "10 Great Gadgets to Stay Fit" made everyone here happy, as did getting into Bella magazine's Slim club with "What's Hot for 2008".
My personal favorite is the Most Evil Gadget award from the Globe and Mail, given out in their 2007 Office Awards. I hadn't been told about this until a couple of days ago here, so couldn't attend the award ceremony to pick up the silverware. I'm sure it's in the mail.
Although quite amusing to be branded evil, no one should really fear exercise in any form. Sorry if we scared anyone! Now, if only we could get Lord Vader for a product endorsement then our journey to the dark side would be complete...

Saturday, January 5

Lose 10lbs in Weight per Video Game Played

10lbs Weight Loss with Gamercize per 1,000 Gamerscore

What is your goal when you play video games? I have been aiming for an average of 10lbs per 1,000 gamerscore for a while and this week I have reached that level. For my 4,165 gamerscore on Xbox Live has I have lost a total of 42lbs in weight. As 1,000 gamerscore is the maximum per Xbox 360 game, that's over a 10lb average per game!
With the public release of the next generation Gamercize in the next few weeks there will never be a better excuse to jump in! I'm sure I could have got there with Gamercize on either a PlayStation 3 or a Wii, but I have only been given the pre-release GZ Pro-Sport for the 360. Ah well, not a bad perk of the job in any ones books and I'll sure to raid the warehouse for the PS3 and Wii versions next month!

Wednesday, January 2

BBC Survey Misses the Mark

BBC Ignores Department of Health Advice.

The article on the BBC website today quite rightly points out obesity is on the rise across the world. BMI graphs from many countries has led the BBC to bend the question of obesity, leading with junk food as the cause. Some people see through the simplistic view in the BBC's fully moderated forum.

The BBC decides to take marketing research to promote an article that contains no story at all. It is a pity the publicly funded BBC does not spend these public monies on programming. Public money has already been spent on research that goes deeper into the issues. The advice from the Department of Health says calorific food intake has not increased in 30 years.

The expert health website goes on to say

Although the rise in obesity cannot be attributed to any single factor, it is the imbalance between energy in (through the food choices we make) and energy out (mainly through physical activity), which is the root cause.

Advancement in technology has given us all the excuse to get our entertainment without putting in physical effort. The freely available statistics from the USA show youth obesity follows video game play. Game time certainly eats into time previously spent outside being active, because it is more enjoyable, convenient and less effort.

So what has risen over the last 30 years? Obesity? - yes, eating more? - no, video game entertainment? - yes. Look at the evidence and do the math.

Despite been very disappointed by the BBC for missing an opportunity with the article, I am at least encouraged to see fitness technology showing the way forwards. Seeing Gamercize help show people that exercise can be fun is a real bonus. That is just the start, a more active outlook gives the motivation and ability to take up many more healthy past times.

Why the BBC cannot report on positive aspects of obesity is not surprising, bad news is more popular. Why the BBC cannot report bad news without sensationalist bias is very surprising.

Automatic Web Page Translation

Let's go Global!

I love gadgets, especially ones that aim to cover 100% of the job in hand. The AddThis gadget is quite good for this, so next I am trying translation. New to my posts on this blog is the Google Translation gadget. I hope it allows many more people to read these posts.