19 April 2013
Educational Games Include One Proven To Address Childhood Obesity
An innovative new game has resulted in dramatically increased physical activity among school-aged children, once again demonstrating the power of gamifying an experience.
Zamzee is one of the new educational games that is really producing results. In fact, the company cites a 59 percent increase in physical activity among children that are using its tools, based upon a study of 448 middle-school aged children by HopeLab and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
HopeLab, a nonprofit, had initially studied 350 students beginning in 2011. The results were then employed to enhance the effectiveness of the Zamzee platform.
In the most recent study, all participants received an activity meter that is normally worn on a belt or carried in a pocket. It monitors physical activity all day via a tri-axial accelerometer. Data is then uploaded to a computer, and the cloud-based platform is accessed. Then, as they say, "Let the games begin!"
The sensor uploads activity data, and "Pointz" are automatically awarded. Rewards are unlocked pertaining to games and challenges. Participants can share their physical activity data in a social networking environment.
Online profiles are set up and maintained in complete accordance with the Childrens' Online Privacy Protection Act.
The result of the research was compelling. Although all the children received the Zamzee activity meter, only half had access to the Zamzee website. Over the six month study period, moderate-to-vigorous exercise levels were fully 59 percent higher among those who tracked their progress on the site, accumulated Pointz, and competed with others.
During the course of the study, full participants demonstrated a lowered incidence of LDL, or bad cholesterol. Also, blood sugar levels were reduced, a positive indicator for reduced incidence of future diabetes.
Zamzee is a website that serves both as a motivational tool and as an activity meter. Kids earn "Pointz" and compete with their friends and others as they climb the leader board.