Navigation Links
Weight loss game looking for 'NEAT-o' results
Date:9/14/2007

HOUSTON, Sept. 12, 2007 Finding a way to motivate the billion people in the world who are overweight to lose excess pounds can be an overwhelming task, but a University of Houston professor is meeting that weighty challenge with a challenge of his own.

Ioannis Pavlidis, a UH computer science professor, and research assistants Yuichi Fujiki and Kostas Kazakos, have developed a computer game that translates physical activity into video games, such as races and logic puzzles. Dubbed Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT-o) games, they can be played on any hand-held personal digital assistant (PDA) with users wearing a lightweight, wearable sensor that detects movement like running, walking, bending over or even foot tapping.

That data is then transmitted to the PDA via a wireless connection, and the player can see his or her game avatar move in real-time to their movements. For example, in the race game, the players physical activity propels the avatar around the track the more active the player is, the faster and farther the avatar goes.

When you see the avatar move when you move, you really become connected to the game, Pavlidis said.

Capitalizing on the buddy system for working out, users can link to other gamers by cellular phone networks and compete against multiple users in the next cubicle or the next state. The game can run all day in the background as users go about their daily routines while earning points and propelling their avatars as they walk to the copy machine, take coffee breaks or walk the dog.

The lack of daily mild exercise is largely responsible for the worlds obesity epidemic, according to James Levine, a Mayo Clinic physician and leading authority on obesity. Levine coined the NEAT term to cover all physical activity that is not conscious exercise. Since hitting the gym for a regular workout might be too much to expect for those returning to the fitness fold, these games encourage small, everyday lifestyle changes, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking a few spaces away from a store entrance versus driving around to find the closest spot available.

We hope the games can increase physical activity, add a dosage of everyday fun and embed NEAT in the modern lifestyle, Pavlidis said. We expect an almost addictive behavior resulting from this game, much like the habit of playing solitaire during breaks is an everyday ritual for many people. Because of the way we live today, people are sitting all the time, so moving more is always a good thing.

The allure of computer gaming and competition with other users encourages players to make small lifestyle changes that can add up to big health benefits, Pavlidis said.

A computer science student who was one of the first to try out the devices lost 40 pounds in five months. The games also have been a hit with early test groups and received rave reviews from players at an April academic gathering of computer scientists.

Along with the straightforward racing game, Pavlidis also recently rolled out his version of Sodoku, a logic-based numbers puzzle that has become wildly popular. In this adaptation of Sodoku, the points players earn through physical activity can be used to fill in another square on the grid, providing clues to solving the rest of the puzzle. More games designed to appeal to a variety of age groups are in the works.

Levines lab at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is gauging the games effectiveness in a large trial experiment that began in June. Financed by an endowed fund and a National Science Foundation grant, Pavlidis hopes the game will be available to the public before the end of 2008.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ann Holdsworth
aholdsworth@uh.edu
713-743-8153
University of Houston
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. CDC reveals relationship between prepregnant weight and heart defects in infants
2. Watch your weight when pregnant
3. Lose Weight With New Wonder Slimming FDA approved Prescription Drug
4. Weight and Blood Pressure
5. Low Birth Weight infants could have Problems in the Future
6. Breastfeeding not found to have an impact on weight of the child.
7. Giving up smoking is good for health, but causes weight gain too
8. Stress can make you overweight
9. Birth weight key factor in heart diseases
10. Stop smoking and reduce weight
11. Overweight children Dont Necessarily Become overweight adults
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which specializes in the delivery of sub-acute ... of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , Apple Rehab participated with the Shelton ... well as the Connecticut Long Term Care Mutual Aid Plan (LTC-MAP). The LTC-MAP ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) ... a collection of specialty vendors and unique items from across the nation, this holiday-themed ... and wellness services offered by the VNA. The boutique will be open Saturday, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Global Healthcare Management’s 4th Annual Kids ... Milford, NJ. This free event, sponsored by Global Healthcare Management’s CEO, Jon Letko, ... run is geared towards children of all ages; it is a non-competitive, non-timed event, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 13, 2017 , ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, is ... a new episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program broadcasted ... each subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the sciatic ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “The Journey: From the ... danger possible to save lost souls in the Philippines. “The Journey: From the Mountains ... a dedicated teacher of the Bible. She has taught all ages and currently teaches ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... , Oct. 11, 2017  BioPharmX Corporation (NYSE ... team that developed an innovative way to use nonlinear ... the delivery of new drugs. ... Clinical Dermatology Conference will show how researchers from BioPharmX ... Harvard Medical School used a suite of imaging techniques ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... --  West Pharmaceutical Services, Inc. (NYSE: WST), a ... today shared the results of a study highlighting the ... administration of polio vaccines. The study results were presented ... by Dr. Ondrej Mach , Clinical Trials and ... and recently published in the journal Vaccine. i ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... LAWRENCE, Mass. , Oct. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... developer of single-use, self-contained, illuminating medical devices, today ... National Health Surveillance Agency (or Agência Nacional ... ®. The first single-use, cordless surgical retractor with ... ONETRAC provides optimal access, illumination and exposure of ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: