Exergaming And Why It's Becoming More Popular
One of the exciting things I have come across as I look at physical literacy is that exergaming is garnering more and more attention in research, which is a large part of why the TekyGo! team created the Junior Bouncer and Portal! In fact, at the University of Calgary, they have Canada’s first exergaming research centre that opened in 2009. This research centre is lead by Dr. Sheehan and Dr. Katz, who have both been quite involved in looking the effects of exergaming on physical education.
Exergaming was already featured on CTV way back on March 9, 2010, and they emphasized the importance of using exergaming to improve on fundamental skills. Here is the link to the video: https://youtu.be/djkktDh9ex4
What’s interesting is that children are recording their own results, which means that they can see their own progress as well as setting goals for themselves. This is one of the factors that can be very motivating for children. Many times, when children are learning a particular skill or movement, they may not see the progression that they are making clearly. By being able to record their previous results, they can then compare their current level to what they have done before. This is a HUGE motivating factor for children as they progress through their fundamental skills movement journey. TekyGO! games show the results after each game so this would be a great way for children to keep track of their own progress.
Another thing that was interesting that they mentioned is that exergaming is an alternative to the other physical activities. This means that children should not be solely focusing on using exergaming as their main source of physical activity. Children need to go outside to experience a variety of movement skills and environments. Children need to have the opportunity to experience different environments so that they know how and when to use their repertoire of movements skills effectively and efficiently.
Exergaming certainly has its benefits. In a research article focusing on the benefits and pitfalls of exergaming at home, it was emphasized that exergaming needs to used appropriately.[i] For example, parents should be aware of the exercise frequency, intensity, timing, type and context in order to promote health benefits and to avoid negative effects on the immune system. Using existing physical guidelines for physical activity can be useful and provide some orientation. For example, WHO has provided guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour for children, adolescents, adults and older adults that can be a useful reference.[ii]Having said all that, the most important thing is to get children moving, doing a variety of different activities and TekyGO! can definitely be one of the most fun ways to play.
3, 2, 1, TekyGO!
[i] Rüth, M., & Kaspar, K. (2021). Educational and social exergaming: A perspective on physical, social, and educational benefits and pitfalls of exergaming at home during the covid-19 pandemic and afterwards. Frontiers in Psychology, 12. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.644036
[ii] WHO (2020b). WHO Guidelines on Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour. Geneva. World Health Organization. Available online at: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/9789240015128