Saturday, November 20

The Healthy People of Tomorrow Play Video Games

Let's Move - with Gamercize!

What can Gamercize and active gaming do for health and fitness, after all it's just a game isn't it? There's a serious side to exergaming, even the White House is taking a look to find out what the benefits of "gamer burn" can be.

Reported by WTSP 10 News, executive directors of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, Melissa Johnson and Shellie Y. Pfohl (pictured left), had a first hand experience of exergaming at the University of South Florida’s active gaming laboratory in Tampa.

The USF Active Gaming Lab was started by Asst. Prof. Lisa Witherspoon Hansen three years ago with full support of the universities College of Education department. The lab facilites on campus are used to educate PE students in active gaming with another facility "in the field" at a local local elementary school.

The kids in the practical environment get moving. "Why not take what everyone is deeming the enemy [video games], why not let them play the games that they love just make them more active?" says Lisa.

Students are not just playing games, they are having fun, being active and learning too.

Jasmine says, "When you play the game it increases your heart rate, makes your legs stronger." 10 Year old Edgerrin James has taken more than 1,400 steps in 25 minutes. "I feel great. I know I worked hard but I feel very tired," describes Edgerrin. Does he feel energized? "Yes Ma'am," he adds.

It's not just the kids that love the onsite lab, "The more we can push the fact exercise is fun with friends, social type of thing, the more likely they will do it," says Lynda Correia, PE Teacher at Witter Elementary.

Check out the video from Ch10 here, and see Gamercize and exergaming in action improving health, fitness and awareness! Lisa also contributes to PE Central as the editor of the Active Gaming section for PE educators.

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