Increasing Children's Activity During CD-ROM Action Game

Period of Performance: 09/15/2001 - 03/31/2002

$100K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Compact Disc, Inc.
Silver Spring, MD 20905
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Longitudinal research suggests modest amounts of lifestyle activity will improve health, while sedentary lifestyles dramatically increase health risks. Adults are resistant to active lifestyles and treatment of disease in adulthood is difficult and costly to treat. Research shows many life skills are learned very early in life; therefore, efforts should be placed on developing an active lifestyle in children. Since children are more adaptable to changes in lifestyle than adults, and because prevention is more beneficial than treatment, we believe young children are the ideal recipients of an interactive game which requires and inspires the players to be physically active. Health professionals are decrying the fact that children engage in media games, thus increasing their propensity toward sedentary lifestyles. Rather than "fight" the trend toward media games, our proposed game " Woolbear Mountain" is constructed to require physical activity in the players during the actual gameplay. It will ask them to perform various fun, age-appropriate and safe active motions in order to empower their on- screen characters with various attributes or powers to overcome obstacles in the game. The major goal of phase I is to demonstrate by field research that the target audience will, in fact, engage willingly and enthusiastically in these physical activities in the context of an engaging, age-appropriate interactive game. Phase II will test the sustainable pro health effects of the game intervention over time. We have reason to believe that such a breakthrough game will find a large audience in Phase III. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS: Commercial applications:1.COMPACT will commercialize the Woolybear Mountain activity game through its Web Site and will Cassady & Greene distributors for the School Market. 2. NASPE will promote & distribute the program to teachers and we'll develop auxilliary material and educational use for distribution in schools. 3. Shape Up America,! and Santa Monica Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Group are also interested.