Conducted as a required research project by four graduate students in ASU’s Physical Therapy Department and overseen by Dr. Han-Hung “Floyd” Huang of the PT faculty, the club aims to get kids exercising by utilizing popular video games.
“We started with children who have weight issues, because kids love video games,” Huang said. “Our long-term goal is to target our efforts to help people of all ages and people already suffering with diabetes.”
Huang and the graduate students, Landon Cook, Kelsey Daniel, Jessica Harrison and Nicole O’Keefe, welcomed a group of five kids aged 5–11 for the first session of the eight-week club earlier this fall. The kids got to play video games like Kinetic Adventures, Just Dance, Wipeout, boxing, soccer and others using Wii and X-Box 360 game consoles.
“It’s really fun,” Daniel said. “We especially like to dance with the kids. It took a little egging on to get them to participate in the dancing game with us. They kind of thought it was lame at first, but they really got to like it.”
“The older ones really like it when we jump in with them and compete against them,” Harrison added. “We ended up playing a lot.”
Huang and the students are currently planning the next session of the Active Video Gaming Club, possibly later this fall. They are hoping to add more participants and are actively recruiting volunteers.
“At this stage, we are looking for kids 6–18 years old with a body mass index, or BMI, over 25,” Huang said. “On our Facebook page, we offer a link to a BMI calculator so parents can determine if their kids qualify.”