Thursday, December 31, 2009

ACE's 2010 health predictions!

12-31-09 Check out ACE's Cedric Bryant's health predictions for 2010. Two of them are things I've been promoting all along! Can you guess which two they are??? It was in today's San Bernardino Sun newspaper. Here's the link:

Happy New Year to all and looking forward to a great 2010 in Games for Health!


Monday, December 21, 2009

Brainbike now available!

12-20-09: Exergame Fitness is now shipping the Brainbike. This is the latest in exergaming designed not only to give you a cardio workout, but stimulate brain development as well.

Read more about it and the science behind it at Exergame Fitness's Brain Bike.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cool presentation on exergaming - exposed!

12-20-09: Check out this cool "prezi" presentation created by the tech guru herself, Biray Alsac!

Find out more about this at The Exergame Network (TEN):

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New study on Wii...

11-17-09: This study on the effectiveness of Wii to provide exercise came out at the recent American Heart Assoc. conf. You can read all about it at the link below. It seems that we still need to keep convincing regular healthcare the exergaming can meet the federal recommendations for physical activity. If they just tried it out for themselves, they would realize that fact!

Monday, November 9, 2009

APHA Day 2, Mon

11-9-09: Presentation day! The day finally arrived. Our topic was on the use of exergaming in our pediatric obesity program called Family Fit Zone. I also covered some of the challenges encountered so far with utilizing exergaming, and some possible solutions. Robin gave an update on the latest research. Even though she was so wired, hyped, and tired after not sleeping a wink the entire night, she did fine! 

The other two presentations showed very innovative technologies being developed. Dr. Carol Boushey (Purdue University) presented work on their automated food assessment software for pictures taken with a cell phone while Dr. Stephen Intille (MIT) presented work on mobile phones and sensors to identify physical activity type in real time. 

I can see how these technologies can be incorporated into a cool game!

The rest of the day was a blur, ending in our Physical Activity Special Interest Group's social. 

And so ended Day 2!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

APHA, Day 1

11-9-09: The first day of the American Public Health Assoc.'s annual meeting, where over 10,400 attendees from all over the world are here in Philadelphia. Our exergaming presentation is tomorrow!

Can you tell Robin Mellecker is nervous giving her presentation on the latest exergaming research?

Naw, she was just practicing before our presentation on Mon. AM. Stay tuned for the actual presentation!

The recently formed PA Special Interest Group (SPIG) within the APHA. Working on getting exergaming and games for health more into APHA. Hey, they have over 10,400 attendees here! All exergaming evangelists should join the APHA and the PA SPIG. ;-)

Friday, October 30, 2009

UCLA Tech & Aging Conference

10-30-09: Had the privilege of being part of a panel, speaking on exergaming, games for health, and seniors at this conf., held at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. The theme was "Living Longer and Better Through Technology" so the topic of exergaming fit right in!

Besides presenting, had the chance to network with other folks interested in gerontology and hopefully, will be collaborating with some of these researchers in the near future on exergaming studies in seniors, since there is hardly any research in this area.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fitbit, a future device for getting in the game?

10-29-09: Check out this Fitbit ( Could it be a future device to help credit your actual physical activity into a video or online game? Hmmm, stay tuned!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Most unique panel in Reno!

10-13-09 Last Friday, the most unique panel in exergaming was assembled. On this panel, we had research, education, healthcare, and video game represented! From all the panels I've been on, this is a first, as far as I can tell.

This was for the Western Kinesiology Society meetings, where faculty and students present on various exercise science related topics. Thanks to the program chair, Dr. Robert Thomas, of LaSierra Univ. (LSU) in Riverside, CA, we were able to get this exergaming session in the program.

Besides myself speaking on exergaming in healthcare, we had Dan Lawler, a former principal in CO, spoke on how exergaming is being used in his schools to help rehabilitate "behaviorally" challenged and ADD kids. Exergaming is a "positive intervention" rather than a negative one.

Bryan Haddock, one of the leading exergaming researchers from Cal State San Bernardino (CSUSB), gave an update on his various research studies.

And finally, Carrie Tice, of Ubisoft, gave the industry's perspective of games from health, what Ubisoft was unveiling the end of Nov (Your Shape, a workout game with a camera for the Wii!), and the need for research to help validate this field.

One of the points I closed with is the "next wave" of games for health and exergaming--that soon, the game will be tied in with the "EMR" (electronic medical record" so that while the patient plays the game, it will update their EMR and should they drop below certain set parameters (eg. not playing it enough), the EMR will send me (or their fitness provider) an e-mail alerting us to this, so that we can then contact the patient and see what's happening, thus catching it early before it turns into a full lapse in exercise behavior. The game can be part of a feedback monitoring loop which will hopefully increase compliance and outcomes. That's where I see this field heading towards, and we need specific games for health that are FUN and compelling.

Anyway, enjoy some pictures of our panel! You'll hear more about this if you attend the American Public Health Assoc. meeting in Philly in Nov. I'll be speaking there and elaborating more on this trend.

(L-R) Bryan Haddock, Dan Lawler, Carrie Tice, Ernie Medina, Jr.

The panel just before we were about to present. Dan looks relaxed, but Bryan and Carrie looked serious. Well Carrie only got 30 mins. of sleep the night before since she was working on work, poor thing!

First time for Dan to present on this topic for a conference, so it was a great first-time for him since he has 2 more conference talks coming up.
Carrie did a great job, running on adrenaline!
We had some student and faculty competitions on the Xavix Dash.
This is Laura Fenton, currently one of the newest faculty at La Sierra Univ.'s exercise science dept. Before this, she was a top-ranked pro r-ball player on the women's tour. Before that, she taught at Andrews University, where back in the late 80's, guess who was her TA? Yup! We go that far back, so it's great to see her again and have her teaching so close to us here in Loma Linda. We look forward to doing exergaming with her kid's sports academy she is working on.
Back in the early 90's, Dr. Bill Napier was on staff at Loma Linda Univ. and I knew him when I was a grad student. Haven't seen him in over 20 years, so it was good to see him again.

After the stress of presenting, Dan let's off some steam and pretends to win at the slot machine! (FYI, he really didn't play, just held up his hands like this for the picture. ;-)

Dr. Abel's proposal for Wii Fit balance research

10-13-09: Abel Rendon, DPT, PT, is working on his 2nd doctorate (DSc) and his dissertation is looking at the effects of a balance training program using the Wii Fit for fall risk individuals. I have the privilege of being one of his committee members. Here are some shots of Dr. Rendon giving his presentation, and pictures with him, along with the chair of his comm., Dr. Everett Lohman.

Friday, July 31, 2009

B Active Forum video!

Here's a video clip of the forum yesterday. Couldn't stop the music during the Zumba music, so bear with was edited on Flip's editing software. ;-)

For the "Be Active Resource Directory", go to SB County website and go to the "Things You Can Use" section. Enjoy!

B Active Forum

7-30-09: DSHN held it's annual physical activity forum today. There were a lot of great speakers and the audience did a LOT of physical activity--this was the least sedentary conf. most of us have attended!

Great job by Pam, Erin, and Brianna, who organized this conf. and working through all the last minute glitches and snafus!

Check out some pixs from this AM. Video clips to follow soon--the activity looks much better in video!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sneak preview of PA Directory Intro Video!!!

7-26-09: Hot off the iMac! Here's a sneak preview of the video clip introducing the new Be Active Resource Directory for Desert Sierra Region including San Bernardino, Riverside and Inyo Counties. This vid will be played on Thur. at the PA Forum.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Game Changer

Just rec'd in the mail my hard copy of "Game changer: Investing in digital play to advance children's learning and health". This is a very comprehensive look at the games for health field by the Joan Ganz cooney Center at Sesame Workshop. Authored by Ann My Thai, David Lowenstine, Dixie Ching, and David Rejeski.

I highly recommend you download the electronic version of this document at:

Be sure to read p. 27 carefully! ;-)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cool gadget for tracking PA!!!

7-3-09: Check this out! A cool looking accelerometer that you can wear in various places on your body. Very cool!

Now if we can get it to interface with a videogame...or Summer's healthy virtual world (My PowerPals)...yeah!!!


Latest obesity stats...and how exergaming can help!

7-2-09: Yesterday, the sixth annual edition of F as in Fat: How Obesity Rates Are Failing in America 2009 was published by Trust for America's Health and the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation and it doesn't look good. Check it out for yourself at this URL:

I believe that this is a prime opportunity for exergaming to help all those kids in Mississippi! We can get them playing and moving again. Imagine if Oprah sponsored a large exergaming tournament in her homestate....with scholarships for the winners. Think of the buzz it would create!

All it would take is some major bucks and a marketing firm to kick this off. I bet that if this were done, and done right, Mississippi could cede the #1 ranking to another state.

Oprah, have your people call my people and let's save the kids of Mississippi!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

My first workout on EA Sports Active....

5-19-09: Having just completed my first workout on the EA Sports Active that came out this AM, it's too early for me to rate the game on the whole, but I do have some initial observations.... 

While there were some components on it that were fun, like the kickboxing and punching section, running in place around a track was not that fun. Running around a track in real life is just as boring in the virtual world as well! 

Now if they had me running thru a minefield, or avoiding things, or trying to get things, whatever--if it actually was a GAME, then running in place in my living room might actually be fun. 

But my sense is that all the various workout "games", starting with Yourself Fitness, doesn't seem to really make it fun just because it's a workout in a virtual setting and I can choose the look of my avatar and the virtual trainer can give me compliments like, "You're poetry in motion."  

I hope that these workout games, with their celebs promoting them, aren't just a new version of their DVD workouts that is totally not interactive. Being interactive does not automatically mean it's fun. 

So if we're designing games for health to reach those folks who find running around a track boring, I think these game companies will have to really think outside of the box and come up with truly FUN and interactive games to reach the sedentary masses. 

Maybe I'm being a bit too rough after just the 1st day of working out on it, so I'll stick out the 30 day challenge I entered and see how it grows on me. Stay tuned! 

BTW, if you're in FB, I'm posting updates on this workout on my "Dr. Medina's We Wii Against Diabesity" group, so feel free to join us in there!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Games for Health Conf. just around the corner!

5-12-09: Greetings Exergaming Evangelists!

I am writing to let you know that the 5th Annual Games for Health
Conference is taking place June 11 and 12, 2009 in Boston,
Massachusetts. I am attending the event myself and the organizers
asked me to pass along basic notice of the event to people I felt
might be interested.

Games for Health is a conference which explores how videogames and
videogame technologies can help with health & healthcare.

Registration for this event is now open at:

15% OFF DISCOUNT CODE: dmgfh09
(enter this during registration for 15% off our current price)

This will be the events biggest content offering yet. Over 55 session
summaries are already available to browse online and more is to follow.

On June 10 the conference hosts its second set of pre-conference
events which includes Games Accessibility Day and Virtual Worlds and

Full details on the conference including travel and lodging
information are available directly at:

The Games for Health 2009 conference will be hosted in partnership
with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio, which has
served as a major sponsor of the conference since 2004. The Pioneer
Portfolio supports innovative ideas that may lead to significant
breakthroughs in the future of health and health care, providing Games
for Health with the opportunity to become the leading professional
community in the growing health games industry.

ps. Here are some other useful links:

Games for Health Schedule (June 11-12)

Games Accessibility Day (June 10 Pre-Conference)

Video from Last Year's Event

Friday, March 13, 2009

Here we go again!

3-12-09: My first post for 2009! It's been a busy first couple of months in 2009, but I'm finally posting something here that's worth posting! We just finished up our Healthy People Conference: Lifestyle Medicine for Obesity and Diabetes, here at Loma Linda University.

Bryan Haddock and I presented a session on exergaming. He presented the latest research as well as the research that we have done together, while I presented what it is, how it can increase PA, how it is used in healthcare, research opps., and how the attendees could start incorporating it in their practice or facility.

There were a lot of SPH grad students there as well, so I tried to plant seeds to encourage them to consider doing their research in this area. We'll see if it worked!

I also had a chance to hear Dr. Toni Yancey, of UCLA. I always enjoy her presentations (we get to do some physical activity!) and we see each other a lot at various conferences around the country. Last saw her at the APHA conf. in San Diego last Oct. We're hoping to collaborate on some exergaming work with the LA youth that she does so much for, so stay tuned!

Also got to meet in person Dr. David Katz, the lead developer of the ONQI system, a rating system for food. It will be marketed on food and store shelves as NuVal, and he has come up with some game ideas to utilize it, so I'm helping to see what can be done in this area.

It was great to see so many former classmates from my grad school days, and many of them are interested in learning more about how to incorporate exergaming and games for health in their work.

All in all, a great time networking and getting the world of exergaming out to this group of healthcare professionals!