Thx for this chance to present here this afternoon. Introduce myself here: And in my talk, I’ll be using exergaming & Active Gaming interchangeably
As for the current video game I’m playing, being an Exergaming Interventionist, I gravitate towards naturally gravitate towards exergames so…KINECT!!! Allows me to do things in beach v-ball that I can’t do in real life! I love how active you have to be to play some of the games.
Speaking of PA, I know I’m preaching to the choir here, so this is just a reminder of what we’re up against: 56.5% aren’t doing the minimum recommended amount of aerobic cardiovascular PA! It gets worse: (CLICK) 81.6% (81.8% of adults) not meeting federal recommendations for both cardio and strength training physical activity! This is why we have high hopes for exergaming—the need is great! Forget about terrorism or global warming, (CLICK) hypokinetic disease is causing Americans to literally fall apart!!! But before exergaming and active gaming can achieve it’s potential in this fight, we need to overcome some challenges …
Allow me to set up a particular challenge with a Christmas analogy: Shortly after Christmas, kids experience a common phenomenon which I will refer to as the “Post-Xmas Gift” effect—kids are soon bored with their new toys!
(Ask question) I see I’m not alone in observing this phenomenon…
Having worked with active gaming in clinical pediatric weight management programs, we encountered this same problem with actives games early on and started thinking about how to overcome this. From a healthcare standpoint, a growing body of research has shown that active gaming can achieve the moderate to vigorous levels of PA. The question is, can active gaming retain them long enough to reduce risk factors associated with hypokinetic disease? Based on the Post-Xmas effect, even active gaming doesn’t seem to do so. One solution I believe that can overcome this obstacle is…
The National Active Gaming League or NAGL—a system of teams and tournaments. I believe the NAGL can motivate kids using AG to stick with it long enough to gain the desired health benefits. BTW, reason we went with “AG” instead of exergaming…use by several prominent orgs like Prez Council, AHA, etc. Using the “team concept” is something that has been proposed as a way to increase physical activity.
At the recent ACSM Health & Fitness Summit, Dr. Chambliss presented how the benefits of team sports can provide skills for individuals to be more physically active.
Prior to hearing Dr. Chambliss present her research on this topic, I came to the same conclusion through our daughter’s experience on a swim team for the last 6 years.
If you aren’t familiar with the life of a swimmer, kids spend a LOT of time staring at the “black line”, going back and forth endlessly. This is quite boring…so how do they stick with this?
One of the reasons is for the opportunity to compete !
It was a chance to take what they learned in practices and apply it in competition. The drive to get “personal records” and qualify for higher levels of competition such as junior olympics’s give the kids goals to train for.
Earning ribbons and medals …that’s what keep the kids going and sticking with it. For some families, it is a path to scholarships to universities of their choice. You can also imagine how it boosts their self-esteem , and even if they don’t place on the medal stand, just improving their times was a big self-esteem booster.
Besides competition, there are many other benefits to being part of a team: the social aspect is a key benefit, whether it’s in training or having a good time.
Now what if we took those same benefits inherent in national team sports structure and apply them to the growing exergaming & active gaming world? Could we soon see thousands of kids staying physically active through weekly structured practices and competition?
Well I believe the time is ripe for this to happen with active gaming. The NAGL will help schools, rec centers, health clubs, and other facilities organize teams so that they can train for local competitions, working their way up thru regionals, sectionals, and eventually, nationals tournaments. Through this structured team format , I believe that the NAGL will be a powerful tool for motivating and empowering kids to be more physically active, and enjoy doing it.
NAGL teams will train on exergames, of course, but coaches will also train the kids with traditional exercises. This cross-training will benefit their exergaming play, just like swimmers cross-train with “dry land” exercises to improve their swimming skills. The NAGL will appeal to kids who, for whatever reason, don’t fit in the traditional team sports like swimming, soccer, and b-ball. How do I know this? Because for the last few years, I’ve been asking my kid patients in my pediatric obesity classes!
The immediate need for the NAGL hit close to home when I met 2 boys in recent Family Fit classes. They tried the traditional sports and it didn’t work out. Nick , 9 y/o, pictured here…loved playing the Kinect and Xavix as part of our Family Fit program. Just saw Nick last week for a f/u, and his mom keeps asking when she can sign him up on our team! Cameron , high functioning autistic 11 y/o—also wants to join, mom ready to sign him up! That’s the beauty about exergaming: it’s inclusive —boys and girls, all ages, all abilities, including challenged athletes. With active play video games, maybe we can reach THOSE hardest to reach in a way we never dreamed before.
The NAGL has filed for it’s non-profit 501(c)3 status and we look forward to collaborating with other various organizations that have a similar mission: to get Americans to move more !
Soon, we will be developing a new kind of child athlete: Active Gaming Athletes ! And like swimming, this will be a sport that they can continue into adulthood and their seniors years! In fact our plan is to eventually have teams and tournaments for adults and seniors as well.
Next step? Get involved!!! (CLICK THRU EACH POINT) Love to meet and brainstorm with any of you the rest of this conference. We need YOUR FEEDBACK on what we’ve done so far, especially on our Handbook and website. Speaking of which…(CLICK)
We are doing a free give-way drawing for 10 lucky winners who sign up on our website. Click on GFH2011 tab at the top and enter this password to sign up for our official NAGL newsletter.
What you see here this week about the NAGL would not be possible without the help of 2 key people: Tommy, who is not here this week, has worked hard this past week to get our website up and running. It’s still a work in progress, so stay tuned for updates. Elena, who is here (ask to stand), is the other person instrumental in getting NAGL to this point. She is my right hand person in creating the NAGL structure and detail, creating our NAGL Handbook and content for the website. I also appreciate Elena taking time out of school (she’s an undergrad senior), and on her own dime, to come here to this week, not only to help represent the NAGL but also so she can meet many of you, supporters and future partners of the NAGL. For their dedication, hard work, and belief in the mission of the NAGL, I wanted to mention them here.
In closing, I believe that someday soon, this will be a common scene here in the US and eventually, the world! I believe we’ll see our NAGL National championships on ESPN or other TV and cable outlets. The bottom line is that I believe the NAGL & active gaming can overcome the obstacles in getting sedentary kids and adults to maintain a long-term lifestyle of physical activity . If you believe this can happen, then I invite you to join us on this quest. I look forward to speaking with you!
NAGL by Medina @ G4H 2011
Overcoming the “Post-Christmas” Effect of Active Gaming Ernie Medina, Jr., DrPH, CHFS “ Exergaming Interventionist” Co-founder/CEO, MedPlay Technologies Co-founder/Chief Wellness Officer, Mobile Adventure Walks
[email_address] C-909-747-5935 Coming in 2011… National Active Gaming League www.PlayNAGL.org
ACSM Health & Fitness Summit April 13, 2011 Heather Chambliss, PhD, FACSM The University of Memphis Memphis, TN What Sports Can Teach Us About Physical Activity Behavior: Skills Every Person Can Use [email_address] C-909-747-5935
Active Gaming Athletes! [email_address] C-909-747-5935
Get involved! <ul><li>Visit our table in the registration area </li></ul><ul><li>Recruiting teams for pilot run this summer </li></ul><ul><li>Looking for feedback on our NAGL Handbook & website </li></ul><ul><li>Keep updated by subscribing for updates on our website: www.PlayNAGL.org </li></ul>[email_address] C-909-747-5935