ExerGaming in Primary Schools – Part 1

Australian schools are the very beginning of their venture to incorporate ExerGaming into the school environment. Over the last 5 years schools in the US, UK and Scandinavia have been trialing and implementing early incarnations of domestic off-the-shelf ExerGames such as Wii Fit, Wii Sport, Dance Dance Revolution and Xavix along with high quality robust commercial solutions such as iDANCE2 by Postive Gaming (Sweden), Gamercize (UK) and a range of ExerBikes, interactive walls and floors from the US.

The results have been overwhelmingly positive. Schools have found significant benefits at all grade levels in physical engagement, improved behaviour and punctuality and improved academic performance. ExerGaming intergrates seamlessly as an adjunct to existing physical education classes. Typically used in P.E., ExerGaming also functions perfectly as an After schools and Breakfast club activity.

Machine Dance ExerGames such as iDANCE2 are already classified as a sport in several European countries and have the capacity to engage, challenge and mobilize any child of any school age to a highly vigorous level of physical activity. These ‘group’ ExerGames can have up to 64 active participants at any one time which make them a superior health and fitness solution whether it be conventional fitness activities or the new P.E. genre created by ExerGames.

Pioneers in this genre in the US are centres such as New Mexico State University and notaries such as Dr. Barbara Chamberlin. Barbara is a true innovator in the field of ExerGaming working at both ends of the health spectrum; Academic research and ‘in the trenches’ implementation. This video is a wonderful overview of how domestic ‘off-the-shelf’ exergames can be utilized in schools to great effect.

 

Leave a Comment