I can safely say that I've never played Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), either in an arcade or in the safety of my home. I guess I'm just a bit shy when it comes to shaking my booty for no reason at all, even in the privacy of my own home. Actually, that would be the weird part. If I was doing it, I'd like to think I wasn't doing something like that all by myself. Well, the people at UnitedHealthcare and KONAMI are hoping others, particularly middle-schoolers, feel the same way. They've teamed up to fight childhood obesity by creating the DanceDanceRevolution (DDR) Classroom Edition. They've actually created a program and built the necessary tools for schools to neatly organize and track students' progress while making it a fun way to burn off extra calories each day. And rather than making it a competition, the DDR Classroom Edition makes it easy for kids to work together to accomplish exercise goals as a team, creating an encouraging environment for kids to stay active and fight obesity. And as anyone who has played DDR can tell you, it definitely keeps you moving. The system has been tested over the past year in El Segundo, CA, not far from the GeekExchange offices, and will soon be rolled out to a new school wellness initiative operated by UnitedHealthcare and United Health Foundation in partnership with school systems throughout Florida, Georgia and Texas.
We stopped by the UnitedHealthcare booth at CES 2013 to find out what this new collaboration was all about.
From the official press release provided by UnitedHealthcare:
“DanceDanceRevolution introduced a generation of young people to an innovative and fun approach to physical activity,” said Clara Baum, senior director of strategic marketing and partnerships, KONAMI. “With the recent launch of our Classroom Edition and KONAMI’s collaboration with UnitedHealthcare, we see the healthy lifestyle benefits of expanding the active video games or ‘exergaming’ platform and making this fun, physical activity system available to as many people as possible.”
Studies indicate “exergaming,” which refers to video games such as DDR Classroom Edition that are also a form of exercise, have the potential to reduce the growing obesity epidemic among children and adults. Recognized by leading researchers, schools, and doctors as an innovative and fun solution to promoting a healthy lifestyle and fighting childhood obesity; DDR Classroom Edition launches with support from key partners, including the American Diabetes Association and Sony Music.
“The DanceDanceRevolution Classroom Edition teaches kids that physical activity can be fun and enjoyable, while fostering the development of healthy attitudes and habits that can last a lifetime,” said Reed Tuckson, M.D., executive vice president and chief of medical affairs, UnitedHealth Group. “By developing innovative collaborations that engage young people in improving their health, we are taking an important step toward reducing childhood obesity in our country.”