Reducing childhood obesity at Glover Elementary
• “DanceDanceRevolution Classroom Edition” – an “exergame” demonstrated to encourage physical activity – now incorporated into physical education curriculum at Glover Elementary in Missouri City
• Special collaboration between the companies part of a nationwide effort to improve the health and wellbeing of young people
UnitedHealthcare and KONAMI Digital Entertainment, Inc., announced a joint effort to reduce childhood obesity in Texas by installing the new DanceDanceRevolution (DDR) Classroom Edition at Glover Elementary in Missouri City. DDR Classroom Edition is the latest iteration of the popular dance game, also known as an “exergame,” that has shown to encourage physical activity among adults and children.
DDR Classroom Edition is an interactive video game that combines physical activity with energetic music and visuals. The game and associated hardware technology, which was developed by Performance Designed Products, enables up to 24 students in Glover Elementary to participate simultaneously, using wireless mat controllers that feature a smart card reader that tracks each student’s individual progress. While students move to the beat, teachers receive vital information about their students’ health including steps, body mass index (BMI) and estimated caloric burn rate.
Besides Glover, KONAMI and UnitedHealthcare have installed the game at two other schools in Georgia and Florida. The participating schools, with assistance from KONAMI and UnitedHealthcare, will use the game to track its impact on students’ health, well-being and activity levels.
“Physical fitness is an important element in the development of young people, and this program helps encourage daily exercise in an entertaining and interactive way,” said Dena Scott, Assistant Athletic Director for the Fort Bend Independent School District. “By using exergames such as this one, we are helping our students recognize that exercise can be fun and rewarding – lessons that can last a lifetime. We appreciate the efforts from UnitedHealthcare and Konami to bring this innovative program to our district.”
Studies indicate “exergaming,” which refers to video games such as DDR Classroom Edition that are also a form of exercise, have the potential to reduce the growing obesity epidemic among children and adults. In fact, a study published this year by George Washington University found that exergames such as DDR “spurred (students) to move enough to meet the recommended intensity criteria for vigorous activity” and that these games are “a useful alternative to traditional physical education.”
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