New DDR Childhood Obesity Initiative Reaches Kids in Nevada
DanceDanceRevolution (DDR) Classroom Edition, a popular dance game created by Konami Digital Entertainment, will help Southern Nevada children get active.
UnitedHealthcare, dedicated to simplifying the health care experience and helping people improve their health and quality of life, has teamed up with Konami to encourage children across the U.S. to live healthier lives. Active gaming leader Konami Digital Entertainment and insurance company UnitedHealthcare have partnered to bring active games to the young people at the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Nevada. DanceDanceRevolution will now help the local children and teenagers get active and improve their overall fitness level while having fun. This is the first time that DDR Classroom Edition has been made available to kids in Nevada, and the event is part of a collaboration between the Southern Nevada youth club and Konami to combat childhood obesity through active physical games. Konami and UnitedHealthcare have been actively involved in initiatives to provide school-age children with DDR Classroom Edition units and fight inactive lifestyles in children and adolescents nationwide for years. Both companies have extensive expertise in developing tools to help prevent childhood obesity.
"Finding new ways to improve the health and well-being of young people in Las Vegas is crucial for the future of community," said Pat Skorkowsky, superintendent for Clark County in a statement. "By making exercise both fun and accessible, this program will help our city's youths get more active and improve their fitness."
Obesity in children and adolescents is a nationwide problem in the U.S. and Nevada ranks 18th for childhood obesity and 17th for physical inactivity according to the 2013 America's Health Rankings released by United Health Foundation. Research shows that exercise gaming has the potential to combat this alarming trend among both children and adults as it encourages players to become active enough to "meet the recommended intensity criteria for vigorous activity," as a recent research by George Washington University puts it.
"The DDR Classroom Edition helps teach kids that physical activity can be fun and enjoyable, while fostering the development of healthy attitudes and habits that can last a lifetime," explains Laurine Tilbaldi, M.D., FHM, and chief medical officer at UnitedHealthcare of Nevada. "Our partnership with Konami and the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada engages young people in improving their health and represents an important step toward reducing childhood obesity in our state."
DDR Classroom Edition, developed by Performance Designed Products, is an active dance game that provides players with vigorous exercise combined with motivational visuals and energizing music. The system uses wireless mat controllers and allows dozens of players to participate simultaneously, with a smart card reader tracking each player's performance and progress.
"Since DanceDanceRevolution's debut, Konami has been at the forefront of exergaming," says Clara Baum, senior director of strategic marketing and partnerships at Konami. "DanceDanceRevolution Classroom Edition is a shining example of our ongoing commitment to create fun, innovative and interactive ways for young people to get exercise. We applaud UnitedHealthcare and the Boys and Girls Club for taking advantage of exergaming and DanceDanceRevolution Classroom Edition as a solution for combatting childhood obesity."