Over the years of physical education classes, many children have been turned off to the idea of exercise. With the required laps around the track or a minimum number of pushups, it seems that exercise is more of a chore than a fun activity that is good for your health.
Researchers at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida have decided to do something to change the way kids are looking at exercise. They are using active gaming, which lets kids both exercise and learn at the same time, while having fun! Active gaming makes use of technology and video games to improve learning.
Research suggests that children are learning when they are having fun. By using gaming systems such as the Nintendo Wii, DDR and other forms of entertainment, the USF gaming lab is the perfect place for teachers to learn about 21st century learning.
Many of the children participating in active learning are exercising and they don’t even realize they are doing so. Active gaming encourages children to use technology to be physically active. A great benefit of this system is that there is a self-challenge. Students can pick their game, work at their own pace and even choose their difficulty level for that game.
This research does not suggest that active gaming takes the place of regular exercise, but it does show that after participating in active gaming, many students had more of a desire to play outside more. Children who are also physically active on a daily basis do perform better in school. It can also improve positive mental health and reduce anxiety. Studies like this show it’s really time for children to get their game on!
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