The Perry School District in Perry, Ohio has always placed a high degree of importance on ensuring that each student has the opportunity to reach their full potential in and out of the classroom. The school community knows the opportunities for their students are always changing, especially with the way technology constantly progresses. They are also aware of how stress, anxiety, and boredom from sitting in class every day can affect their students’ learning, especially as the obesity epidemic increases and kids are exposed to more sedentary screen time.
So when Perry Schools was named as one of the 2013 Physical Education Program (PEP) Grants winners, they decided it was time to give their students a new opportunity. Rather than fighting technology and the pervasiveness of video games, of which it is reported 97% of kids play some type of console system, Perry Schools encouraged their students to “game” at school through exergaming.
Exergaming is the idea of combining gaming, whether it is actual video games or gamification of an activity, with exercise and fitness. With the help of the PEP Grant award, Perry Schools brought in Exergame Fitness to modernize their fitness room and bring it into the 21st century with Exergame’s Youth X Room – an exergame room designed to engage kids ages seven to fourteen with fun interactive fitness equipment. Students could now play games that got them moving around while tracking their scores and at the same time foster friendly competition.
With recent studies showing the benefits of adding even a single twenty to thirty minute period of physical activity per day, especially in regards to academics, it’s important to find ways to engage students and create an interest in wanting to stay active. Exergaming brings that key component of engagement for kids because it links physical activity to the virtual world. Students have been heard saying they didn’t realize how much they had actually done or noted that the time passed so much faster when using the Exergame equipment.
The Exergame Room also added more options for the the faculty and students in their PE classes, athletic training, and special needs and other therapy programs.
To view the Exergame Youth X Room installed in the Perry School district, as well as other PEP Grant winners and organizations who have brought Exergame into their facilities, click here.
The items installed through the PEP Grant included: