Exergaming Research Centre
Grand Opening of Canada's First Exergaming Research Centre
An innovative research project is hoping to discover whether the new generation of ‘exergames’ can really impact on youth fitness, and perhaps help with the growing incidence of obesity among Canadian youth. Exergames are a new trend in video games that combine an element of exercise with traditional gaming.
The research centre, located in southwest Calgary, is a collaboration between the Foundations for the Future Academy, the University of Calgary, and Mount Royal University. It is funded by the Community Initiatives Program through the Alberta Lottery Fund.
Linking Technology to Provincial Educational Outcomes
The Canadian Exergaming Research Centre (CERC) has been designed to study the impact of active video gaming on the acquistion of fundamental movement skills in children. In this, direct connections to the Alberta Physical Education Program of Studies are made to ensure that the outcomes of exergaming activities align with the relevant standards of motor learning.
According to Canada's Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) plan, the most influential years of physical literacy development occur during the period of readiness prior to puberty. The CERC has selected age appropriate equipment that will help children balance and improve agility, coordination and laterality.
Building an Exergaming Centre
What was once an empty stage collecting dust and storing mats has been transformed into a dynamic centre of activity bursting with technology.
Creating an active gaming area in a school or community doesn't have to be limited to those with lots of money. With a little bit of ingenuity and some creative fundraising, an exergaming station can start with one or two pieces of equipment and evolve slowly over time.
Balance Testing and Assessment
A key element to the research will be to provide teachers with a simple and effective way to measure postural stability of their students. The CERC is developing a measurement tool that is easy to use, valid and reliable. In addition to the balance field test, the research team is examining ways to measure other fundamental movement skills like lateralilty, coordination and agility.