Fitness in the Classroom

Le Bonheur’s Health Lifestyles Clinic uses gaming technology to develop a collaborative physical education solution for local charter school

Webb Smith, PhD, saw a problem in local physical education (P.E.) classes, and he knew there had to be a better solution.

“Not all schools have a gym or dedicated space for P.E.,” he said. “The students at a local school, Memphis Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School, were walking several blocks through downtown Memphis to get to the YMCA, where they had secured space for a P.E. class. We knew there had to be a solution for physical activity within the school’s walls.”

So, Smith and his team got to work to help kids get moving and help teachers provide space for physical activity in small spaces. The eventual answer: Fit4Class by FitNexx, an active video game that can be played simultaneously by 24 kids and encourages physical activity in a fun and unique way.

Fit4Class by FitNexx uses a combination of cameras to track the movements of the students as they perform the activities. The students’ movements are used to control onscreen characters as they move through a game. Three screens provide the stations around which the students rotate, including navigating an active obstacle course video game, following an on screen character through stationary exercises and running short sprints. The program is also able to track the students over the semester and deliver a physical activity report card that is individually tailored to the abilities of each student. And the best news yet: the entire system can fit onto a small cart.


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