Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Latest CA PE report

Rec'd this from a colleague over at San Bernardino County Public Health, Pam Sampson!

Good afternoon Fit 2Gether partners and LIAs,

Last one for the day. Thought you may be interested in the Health Policy Brief from UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. See summary below, and the policy brief attached or visit, http://www.healthpolicy.ucla.edu/pubs/files/adolescentpepb.pdf. …Pam

FYI: CA recommends 200 minutes/every 10 days for elementary and 400 minutes/every 10 days for middle & high school, but NASPE recommends 150 minutes/week plus one 20 minute recess/day for elementary and 225 minutes/week for middle & high school.


May 2011

Adolescent Physical Education and Physical Activity in California

Allison L. Diamant, Susan H. Babey and Joelle Wolstein

S UMMA R Y: In California, more than 1.3 million adolescents (38%) do not participate in physical education (PE) at school, and this rate increases dramatically with age, from just 5% at age 12 to 77% at age 17. In addition, only 19% of teens meet current physical activity recommendations. Participation in PE at school is associated with more overall physical activity. Policies that promote more opportunities for physical activity, including those that help schools meet or exceed current PE requirements, can contribute to greater levels of physical activity for adolescents.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Wrap-up of the 7th Games for Health conf....

5-26-11: Whew! The 7th Annual Games for Health Conf. is now history. And what a conference it was! This was, by far, the best conf. for me personally, on so many levels. Great people, networking, all the sessions, expo tent, new products, after-hour socials, kicking off mobile Adventure Walks and NAGL...the list could go on and on. Even the rainy overcast weather couldn't dampen the excitement that ran through the conference, at least for me.

Maybe it was because I was so dang busy! LOL! Besides kicking off and promoting 2 new start-ups with friends there, I had 2 presentations and was on Team 5METS in competition with a team of young hotshot developers from UC Berkeley, led by just-graduated Ann Beaver and friends. (Ok, we lost, but we did our best and they were great sports. Next year, we'll be sure to take our Ben Gay and Geritol to better our chances! LOL!)

Kudos to Ben Sawyer and Beth Bryant for all their hard work in organizing and putting this conference on. (Hope Beth is enjoying her new MacAir that she received Wed. night for her b-day!) Also great job by Ed Kasanders and Parker Johnson (Motion Fitness) for organizing and running the exergame expo tent. The times that I was there, it was quite busy and people were playing the games and getting involved. (Special thanks for allowing MedPlay Tech's newest employee, Elena Butoiu, to work and train under your guidance. She learned a lot in this intensive exergaming experience!)

I'm going to try and highlight some key things here for me. I've included links below for other wrap ups (as I get them), URLs to pictures, and where you can find the presentations.

If you want to feel like you were there, check out the tweet thread by searching for #g4h11 and see what many of us were tweeting during the conference!

Let me start by talking about some cool innovative stuff I found there that I think you might be interested in:

1. Zamzee - We've been hearing about this HopeLab initiative for a few years now. Well it's about to come to fruition this summer! Check out their website! For those who don't know, this is a kid-friendly accelerometer that is connected with an online incentive reward program. Take more steps, earn more Zamzee points to get prizes!

2. S2H - Here's another accelerometer-based incentive reward system for all ages. I'm wearing the wrist band now and for every 60 mins. of activity, I enter in a code that will help me accrue points which I can use to get prize. Available now.

3. mobile Adventure Walks - We did a demo walk on the Back Bay and it was a blast, even in the rain! Looking for clues and solving the riddles makes this walking app more appealing and inviting. It's not just another tracking device! Sign up for updates at the website, this free app will be available this summer.

4. NAGL - The National Active Gaming League kicked off here at G4H. Still in construction, this league for "active gaming athletes" will provide structure and training to those wanting to be involved on a team and go to competitions and meets. Learn more about this and how you can get involved at our website (a HUGE thanks to Tommy Seilheimer for getting our website up and running the week before the conf!) A drawing for a Xavix Tennis system is still going on today so sign up for our e-newsletter today! (Another huge thanks to SSD's Peter Newman for being the first official NAGL sponsor with this donation!)

5. Positive Psychology - I wasn't expecting to learn something on psychology, but one of the key notes, Dr. Martin Seligman, who is the "father of positive psychology", was awesome! You may be wondering how this relates to games for health...well you'll just have to get his book, "Flourish", and find out! Here's a clue: Jane McGonical is mentioned in the book, so he definitely talks about video games. I bought his book there, he signed it, and I started reading it on the flight home. It's amazing and a must-read! I even ordered one for a friend who was there but missed his talk. You can also go to his website and learn more about positive psychology, take any of his assessment tests for free, etc. Great call by Ben and Beth for being able to get him to speak!

5. President's Council on Sports, Nutrition, and Fitness - While there were many excellent sessions on a wide variety of topics, one that stands out in my mind is the session by PCSNF Exec. Dir. Shellie Pohfl. She talked about how "active gaming" can be used as a tool for increasing movement and physical activity, and that she looks forward to integrating and collaborating more with the active gaming community! Great to have that kind of support from the federal level. Next stop: Let's Move!!!

Motion Fitness's wrap up
TEN blog

PIXS (these are mine from Facebook albums)
Pre-conf (mobile track)
Day 1
Day 2

www.slideshare.net, search "Games for Health 2011"
TEN presentation

If you have links to more pictures, video clips, wrap-ups, presentations, etc., feel free to e-mail them to me so I can add them to this blog.

Enjoy! Already looking forward to Games for Health 2012! Be sure to save the date: June 6-8, 2012, Boston, MA, Hyatt Harborside.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Can Wii make you fit?

5-22-11: Check out this article that quotes some character named Medina! ;-)


Game Makers Push Fitness - CNBC

Healthy Business — Special Report — Game Makers Push Fitness To Health Clubs - CNBC

5-22-11: A good intro article with quotes from Motion Fitness's Ed Kasanders and researcher guru Dr. Ann Maloney. Glad to see exergaming getting exposure on CNBC! At least they didn't say that exergames were totally useless. ;-)

As for Fuze Fit's Dave Jame's comments on kid's picking the Trampoline over the Wii, it's too bad that they didn't print the rest of what he probably said: that there are a lot of other kids who would prefer the wii over the trampoline!

The bottom line is that we need to use ALL the tools available to us--exergaming tools AND traditional exercise tools--to get kids to move more. Just because some kids choose the trampoline over the Wii doesn't mean exergames are a waste--NO! As long as they are moving more than they were...that's the key!!!

In my experience with the Xrtainment Zone, our kids overweight classes (Family Fit Zone), & our classes at Beaver Med Group, exergames DO reach kids who aren't into the traditional, so I'm grateful we have this tool to use!

Ernie Medina, Jr., DrPH
Exergaming Interventionist

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Can exergames replace treadmill workouts?

5-12-11 Thx to Exergaming Evangelist from Down Under, Brett, for tweeting and posting this on FB!

Heart Rate and Perceived Exertion During Self-Selected Intensities for Exergaming Compared to Traditional Exercise in College-Age Participants

Kraft, Justin A; Russell, William D; Bowman, Tracy A; Selsor, Clifford W III; Foster, Grant D

Check out this just published article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, March 2011.

They compared workouts on DDR and Gamebike to treadmill and here's what they found:

"Results support that exergames are capable of eliciting physiological responses necessary for fitness improvements. Practitioners might consider exergames as periodic activity options for clients needing motivation to be regularly active."

The evidence just keeps coming out that certain exergames CAN reach the MVPA level!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Military uses DDR to read satellite data

5-11-11: Thx to Dr. Ann Maloney for this link...interesting! Read how the military is using DDR to read satellite images. Click here.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Games for Health conf. less than wk away!

The 7th Annual Games for Health Conference in Boston, MA is May 17-19, now just over one week away!

Over three days we have scheduled over 100 talks covering a complete gamut of opportunities for videogames and videogame technologies in health and healthcare.

Registration fees will be rising soon. Register today and receive 10% off the current ticket price using the discount code BOST11.

To see schedules and register visit: http://bit.ly/gfh2011

To see if you qualify for our free pass for sensor-based developers and researchers visit: http://bit.ly/mLR3De

Three days featuring 120+ speakers and over 80 talks, two networking receptions, contests, group activities, and more.

  • Day 1 Keynote
    Positive Psychology -> Positive Computing -> Positive Videogames
    Dr. Martin Seligman, The Positive Psychology Center, University of Pennsylvania

  • Day 2 Keynote
    "The Last Mile Doesn't Have to be the Hardest: Solving Problems Between Games and Health"
    Dr. Roni Zeiger, Google

  • Featured Talk
    "Gaming Your Way to a Healthier Lifestyle" by Shellie Pfohl, Executive Director, The President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition

  • A games for health briefing by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

  • A panel on gamification ideas applied to various issues in health, including exercise, and healthy living

  • GameShare - A special project and presentation developed with Ben Heckendorn of BenHeck.com

  • To see the latest scheduled sessions please visit:

    For up-to-date conference information please visit:


    May 17: Pre-conference Events & Workshops
    May 18-19: 7th Annual Games for Health Conference
    Multiple tracks of great content including...
    • Open Content Tracks
    • Exergaming & Active Gaming
    • Cognitive & Emotional Health
    • Sensorimotor Rehab
    • Nutrition & Games
    • Social Games & Virtual Worlds
    • Sensor Games for Health
    The 7th Annual Games for Health Conference is just over two weeks away.

    Registration fees will be rising soon. Register today and receive 10% off the current ticket price using the discount code BOS11.

    To see schedules and register visit: http://bit.ly/gfh2011

    Founded in 2004, the Games for Health Project supports community, knowledge, and business development efforts to use cutting-edge games and game technologies to improve health and health care. The Pioneer Portfolio of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is the lead conference sponsor and a major supporter of the Games for Health Project. To date, the project has brought together researchers, medical professionals, and game developers to share information about the impact games and game technologies can have on health, health care, and policy.

    A major effort of the Games for Health Project is the annual Games for Health Conference. Over three days, more than 400 attendees will participate in over 60 sessions provided by an international array of 80+ speakers, cutting across a wide range of activities in health and health care. Topics include exergaming, physical therapy, disease management, health behavior change, biofeedback, rehab, epidemiology, training, cognitive health, nutrition, and health education. The Games for Health Project is produced by the Serious Games Initiative, a Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars effort that applies cutting-edge games and game technologies to a range of public and private policy, leadership, and management issues.