NEAT-o-Games: Blending Physical Activity and Fun in the Daily Routine

Date: 
07-01-2008

This article describes research that aims to encourage physical activity through a novel pervasive gaming
paradigm. Data from a wearable accelerometer are logged wirelessly to a cell phone and control the animation of an avatar that represents the player in a virtual race game with other players over the cellular network.  Winners are declared every day and players with an excess of activity points can spend some to get hints in mental games of the suite, like Sudoku. The racing game runs in the background throughout the day and every little move counts. As the gaming platform is embedded in the daily routine of players, it may act as a strong behavioral modifier and increase everyday physical activity other than volitional sporting exercise. Such physical activity (e.g., taking the stairs), is termed NEAT and was shown to play a major role in obesity prevention and intervention. A pilot experiment demonstrates that players are engaged in NEAT-o-Games and become more physically active while having a good dosage of fun.

Read the full article.  Click here.

Authors: 
YUICHI FUJIKI, KONSTANTINOS KAZAKOS, COLIN PURI, PRADEEP BUDDHARAJU, IOANNIS PAVLIDIS, JAMES LEVINE