Gaming: Eat Breakfast, Drink Milk, Play Xbox By: Karen Carvajal
Overview of the article The state of Virginia is where the most overweight humans reside. Researchers from the West Virginia University's School of Physical Education began to notice a great interest from children in the kinetic video game Dance Dance Revolution. The state began with a at home study including 50 children which had a BMI of 85% which is way overweight considering the overweight BMI benchmark is 30%. The results were incredible…..
Why DDR? • Children show a very high interest in video games and music • Easy to use by both children and adults • Not very costly for the school system • Overweight students unknowingly participate in aerobic exercise • Better way of implementing indoor physical education for colder climates
After the home-study • Researchers analyzed the results and came to a conclusion that there were only gains made by the students both in health and social aspects • They decided to implement a pilot program in 20 middle schools to further test DDR
The State mandates DDR!! • The state was so compelled with the positive results this dance game phenomenon created, they mandated that Dance Dance Revolution be integrated as part of the physical education curriculum in all middle and junior high schools • Soon to be added to the high school phys ed. curriculum
Teacher training • Teachers are being trained how to use the Dance Dance Revolution game, gaming system, and dance pads so they can further instruct their students.
Skeptics • Many are still debating whether video games should be made part of the academic curriculum since it does not consist of paper reference material (books) and deals with new age technology • “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, meaning those who have traditional thoughts geared towards education will not be so easy to convince of the DDR implementation in curriculums since they only see it as “playing games”
Statistics • A study by the California Department of Education found that students who did 10 minutes of rhythmic aerobics before a standardized test performed up to 25% better on the test than students who received 20 minutes of test-specific tutoring • A recent research article by the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation reported that breaks for physical activity during the school day can help children to be more focused and better able to learn
RESULTS • Participants…. • Were more willing to try new activities • Became more confident with themselves • Were more socially accepted by others • Increase in aerobic capacity • Did not gain ANY fat weight • Gained lean, healthy muscle weight • Increased blood flow
Personal thought Coming from a person who owns 3 DDR games and 2 floor mats, I am 100% for the implementation of the DDR game in the physical education curriculum. Granted, here in Miami, FL it is not a necessity to have students do physical activity indoors due to snowstorms or extreme cold but we could use it when it is raining. The game not only has bright lights, funky dancing characters, and great, up-beat music but it keeps you jumping around and moving your legs with every stomping beat. If all schools had this game implemented as part of the curriculum and each student performed for just ten minutes each day, there would be no overweight children in America, according to the data collected from the studies. This is a great, modern way to implement physical education among students. Even those students who normally don’t participate in p.e class are now more than ever willing to participate in aerobic exercise. The best part is that the students don’t even think of it as doing exercise, they view it is playing video games and listening to their favorite songs. I would love to have this as part of my curriculum when I become a physical education teacher. Even if it is not part of the curriculum, I could always as the school for the funding for he gaming system and be the first one to introduce it to the school.
Citation • Charlene O'Hanlon, "Gaming :: Eat Breakfast, Drink Milk, Play Xbox," T.H.E. Journal, 4/1/2007, http://www.thejournal.com/articles/20467