Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sitting is our gen's smoking

1-16-13: Great article and title on the dangers of sitting too much! If you set a lot, then read this article by the HBR Blog Network. The author talks about how she's incorporated "walking meetings" to combat this...what if we had "exergaming breaks" like smokers have smoking breaks?

One solution: Play a short 2-3 minute exergame every hour to protect your health!Instead of smoking areas, have "exergaming areas" where employees can break the hold of sitting too much, of hypokinetic disease!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Nice press for exergaming!

1-11-13: Finally some nice press on exergaming, reported by Discovery News and listed in the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation News Digest for Pediatric Obesity. A study on how exergames can help battle childhood obesity, a report on a study by lead author Todd Miller at GWU School of Public Health. Read about it here.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Call for manuscripts on Peds Obesity!

The pandemic of overweight children has captured the attention of parents, educators, journalists, and researchers in many fields. Games for Health Journal: Research, Development, and Clinical Applications is now soliciting manuscripts for a special issue on childhood obesity scheduled to be published in 2013.
The Journal will accept manuscripts on virtually any research topic that involves using a videogame related to any aspect of childhood obesity including specific age, economic, and ethnic groups; comparison of the effectiveness of two or more games; comparison of videogame activities to either non-activity or traditional non-videogame activities; games and nutrition; videogames and behavior modification; and so on.
The deadline for manuscript submission: January 31, 2013
For manuscripts guidelines, click here.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Another study: Sitting is deadly! (And how exergaming can help)

10-15-12: These studies are coming out fast and furious, which I think is great because it gives us more ammo in the fight against hypokinetic disease!!!

A meta-analysis (18 studies and included a total of 794,577 participants) showed that your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and death were increased 2x if you sat for long periods of time.

What's even more disturbing (and backs up what other previous studies have found) is that this increased risk is INDEPENDENT of the amount of moderate-to-vigorous PA one gets, so even if you meet the PA guidelines, you are still at risk if you sit for long periods of time throughout the day.

What can you do to protect yourself? Don't sit for long periods of time!!! Office workers, college students, and other occupations that require you to sit for long periods of time are at risk so try and take small breaks every hour or so. Get up and move around, step in place, walk around your building or block, go up and down the stairs, etc. You could even play some active video games and have fun while you're taking a break! It only need be a few minutes to break it up, so active video games would be a great option for this kind of break.

Just because you get your PA for an hour a day doesn't mean you're safe to sit on your bum for the other 23 hours of the day!!!

E. G. Wilmot, C. L. Edwardson, F. A. Achana, M. J. Davies, T. Gorely, L. J. Gray, K. Khunti, T. Yates, S. J. H. Biddle. Sedentary time in adults and the association with diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death: systematic review and meta-analysis. Diabetologia, 2012; 55 (11): 2895 DOI: 10.1007/s00125-012-2677-z

Other reports on this study:

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Cooper Institute gets into serious video games!

8-28-12: The world-famous Cooper Institute, the non-profit arm of the Cooper Aerobic Center in Dallas, TX, has gotten into serious video games. Just came across this entry for The Quest to Lava Mountain in a contest for childhood obesity. You can see the trailer here and vote for it if you like it! Strictly a nutritional video game, but with the Cooper Institute getting into serious games, do you think that an exergame can't be far behind??? ;-)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Video games in the Olympics?

8-8-12: Rec'd this interesting article from Kotaku, discussing if video game play could make it into the Olympics. You can read more about it here. Got me thinking about the National Active Gaming League (NAGL) which I tried to organize a couple of years ago so glad to see this kind of thinking is still kicking around! Alas, if I had more time and $$ to really dedicate to the NAGL, maybe we could test this all out. Maybe someone who does have the resources will do it someday!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Targeting Sedentarianism with exergaming!

1-11-12: Happy New Year! I hope that you have a great holiday break. I'm sure many received some sort of exergame (such as a Wii or Kinect), and are using it to stay active in the new year.

As I look back on the last few years in the field of exergaming, a lot of the attention has been focused on using exergames as a way to increase physical activity (PA) and to be used as a new intervention for an exercise prescription (Exercise Rx).

However, in just the last year, I've noticed a new focus coming up...that of decreasing sedentary behavior. At first glance, this may seem like 2 sides of the same coin or mere semantics, but in fact, evidence is coming out that shows sedentary behavior is an independent risk factor compared to not doing the your exercise Rx.

In other words, someone who is doing their regular exercise Rx of 30 mins, 5x/wk, but then then is totally sedentary the other 23+ hours of the day (sleep, sitting at work, driving, etc.), is almost at the same risk as not doing your Exer. Rx at all!!! In other words, doing your workout does NOT protect you from being a couch potato the other 23 hours of the day!!!

A study that just came out highlights this in youth. Published by the American College of Sports Medicine, you can read more about it here.

What I like about this new focus is that now, instead of seeing which exergames meet the moderate to vigorous levels of intensity to qualify as "exercise", we are just focused on kids (and adults) being less sedentary!!! They talk about the benefits of JUST STANDING while talking on the phone, for example. With this level of physical activity, EVERY SINGLE exergame would qualify as an tool to decrease sedentary behavior!!!

Imagine schools, workplaces, homes, taking "sedentary vaccinations" by playing a game or two of some popular exergame every hour. It would be a nice mental break as well as a physical activity against sedentarianism.

I think we should encourage more research into the viability and effectiveness of exergames to break sedentary behavior. Then maybe, exergames will be more fully accepted by all those in the sports medicine and healthcare fields and promoted as a tool for their patients/client.

What do you think? Feel free to comment here or e-mail me at or post a message on my Facebook wall (Exergaming Interventionist).