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.