This paper posits to analyze whether Nintendo Wii can successfully be used to increase physical activity in primary school children with early signs of obesity. This importance of this study is based on the fact that obesity has recently been proven to a serious issue of concern with children as well as adolescents. Obesity in children relates to a situation of accumulation of excess fat in the body that causes negative effects to the health and the wellbeing of the child. The existing approaches of determination of the body weight in a direct manner are usually difficult calling for the application of procedures such as the BMI. As a result of the escalating prevalence of obesity especially in children accompanied by the high rate of adverse effects on their health, the condition has been labeled a serious concern in the health of the children. Avoiding stigmatization warrants the application of the terminology overweight in place of obese. The effect of these condition is a shorter lifespan for the affected. Obesity in children has also been associated with significant risk factor (Chamberlin & Gallagher, 2008).
Obese children are in most cases confronted by emotional and also psychological problems. To the extreme, the condition can also result from conditions that are life-threatening such as liver disease, skin infections, cancer, heart disease, early puberty also called menarche, diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep problems, eating disorders like the anorexia plus bulimia, asthma, and other respiratory problems. The condition is anticipated to continue to their adulthood that consequently to high mortality rates (Lanningham-Foster, et al., 2006).
Considering the growth of generation X, there were expectations that the children would join their friends in the field and play. This trend has however changed with the majority of the children being under restrictions to go out and play with their mates. This has been replaced with the use of computers and video games playing, a condition that has made them less active as compared to the children of a similar age a few decades ago. Owing to the fact that playing video games is more passive than active, the number of calories that are burned in the body consequently declines (Graves, Stratton, Ridgers & Cable, 2007).
This has been accompanied by a decline in nutrition and an escalating level of consumption of sugars in addition to fast foods as a result of the increase in their demand. Participation in traditional video games is associated with an insignificant burning of the calories in the body and this can only be enhanced with the introduction of Wii.
It has, therefore, become imperative to have a combination of the video games and high profile activities that will consequently lead to the burning of a higher percentage of calories for the sake of enhancing the health and the wellbeing of children. This is particularly important for primary school children with early signs of obesity. This is the basic principle behind the introduction of an interactive system of video games called Wii that was initiated by Nintendo. Instead of just sitting down and make use of the remote control, standing up while mimicking actions to be completed on the screen results in the increase in the level of activity by the player (Graves, Ridgers & Stratton, 2008).
According to the so far conducted studies, the Wii games including bowling, boxing, and tennis aerobics among others are enhancing the level of exercise while the player continues to derive fun from the video games. They have also replaced the traditional games which are expensive based on the requirements to purchase them seperately
Nintendo Wii: increase physical activity in primary school children with early signs of obesity
The use of Nintendo Wii will exergaming which also means video gaming in a physically active manner has been proven to improve the levels of activities in children. The gaming console given the name Nintendo Wii was introduced by Nintendo in 2006 and it was proven to be revolutionary due it’s virtue of incorporating the lower body part movement with the movement of the upper body. Another positive contribution of the game was facilitating some facilities for the players which on traditional context are played outside like basketball, bowling right as well as baseball that can otherwise be performed in the living rooms (Cowley & Minnaar, 2008).
The positive attributes of the game made it possible to be introduced as an after-school program. Further exploration of the game proved that it is one of the most effective ways that can be adopted for a person to be physically active especially for the young people who at their 9 to 12 age bracket (Lanigan & Power, 2008).
With the efforts of the parents, the professionals in health care, as well as educators, strive towards the identification of means of increasing the levels of activities in the children, the use of video gaming remains to be one of the best options. The games are effective stimulants of the bodies along with the minds of the concerned. Most of the children experience higher rates of heartbeats accompanied by pedometer readings of up to 600. The rating of the extent of enjoyment among the children is a further positive indicator that the use of video games is an engaging activity and one of the most effective methods of increasing the level of activity among young people (Epstein, et al, 2008).
Successful use of video gaming to increase physical activity in primary school children with early signs of obesity is only realized with the appropriate application of models such as the health belief model and the theory planned behavior. Health Belief Model, HBM, implies to a tool of beneficial use by the scientists in the process of predicting health behavior. When the concept is used together with video gaming, success in increasing the physical activity in primary school children with early signs of obesity can be achieved. The basis of the model is that the willingness of a person to undergo the process of change in behaviors of health is based on some important factors including perceived susceptibility, perceived severity, perceived benefits, and perceived barriers. The model has been proved to be realistic because it recognizes the willingness of an individual to change the behaviors of health should be associated with additional two elements which are cues to action along with self-efficacy (Lan, 2007).
Another model worth considering is the theory planned behavior which establishes interconnectivity of the attitudes to behavior an extension of the theory of reasoned action. The theory has been proven to be efficient in productivity and persuasion. It has often found its application in studies dealing with relations in as far as belies, behavioral intentions, attitudes as well as behaviors are concerned in most of the field including healthcare (Robertson, 2004).
The popularity of Nintendo Wii has resulted therefore to the application of video gaming for the Extension educators along with the health professional in the process of incorporating physically in addition to the mentally stimulating activities in the activities of the primary school children with early signs of obesity. The possibility of incorporation of pedometers in the future for self-monitoring of the movements of the students as they undertake their physical activities and video gaming is still a subject under study. The exposure of primary school children with early signs of obesity to screen time serves as a potent predictor of negative outcomes as it serves as a tool for improving motor skills balance. It serves as a greater walkout for this category of students who can hardly go to the gym (Bonis, 2007).
Diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and interventions
The onset of type 2 diabetes is associated with mild symptoms and it happens to be the commonest diseases that are usually underdiagnosed and most suffers are not aware that they are victims. This is an unfortunate situation as a result of the significant damage that is likely to arise after the onset of the disease to the body causing a variety of complications (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 2008).
The diagnosis of the disease requires that it is separated from the possibilities of related mild symptoms. It is important to have a distinction of type 2 diabetes from other related conditions including Type 1 diabetes, IGT as well as MODY. Occasionally underlying condition including metabolic syndrome, hemochromatosis and cystic fibrosis might act as base illness (Bloom, 2008).
One of the most important interventions is the use of Medical nutrition therapy, MNT which has been proven to prevent and also manage the condition and in some cases it also slows down the development rate of complications that are associated with diabetes. All in all, with the introduction of Nintendo Wii, parents, educators and professionals in health care need to eliminate the complications associated with diabetes especially during the early life of a person and make use of the facility to increase physical activity in primary school children with early signs of obesity for the sake of their better future. This deduction is based on the proven facts that Nintendo Wii can be used to increase physical activity in primary school children with early signs of obesity
Bloom, J. et al, 2008, “Nintendo Wii vs. Microsoft Xbox: Differential effects on mood, physiology, snacking behavior, and caloric burn”, Appetite, Vol. 51, No. 2., pp. 354-354.
Bonis, J., 2007, “Acute Wiiitis”, The New England Journal of Medicine. 356(23):2431-2432
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, 2008, Childhood overweight and obesity. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/childhood/index.html, accessed on November 02 2010
Chamberlin, B., & Gallagher, R. 2008, Exergames using video games to promote physical activity. Abstract available at http://www1.cyfernet.org/cyfar08/Research/Chamberlin/Chamberlin-Research1.pdf accessed on November 02 2010
Cowley, A. & Minnaar, G., 2008, “New generation computer games: Watch out for Wii shoulder”, BMJ. 336(7636):110
Epstein, L. H., et al, 2008, “A viewing and computer use on body mass index in young children”, Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 162(3).
Graves, E., Ridgers, N. & Stratton, G., 2008, “The contribution of the upper limb and total body movement to adolescents` energy expenditure whilst playing Nintendo”, European Journal of applied physiology. 104(4).
Graves, L., Stratton, G., Ridgers, N. & Cable, N., 2007, “Comparison of energy expenditure in adolescents when playing new generation and sedentary computer games”, BMJ. 22;335(7633);
Lanigan, J., & Power, T.G., 2008, “Obesity prevention and health promotion: How family life educators view their role”, Journal of Extension Article 6FEA5.
Laningham-Foster, L., et al., 2006, “Energy expenditure of sedentary screen time compared with active screen time for children”, Pediatrics, 118; e1831-e1835.
Lan, X., 2007, “Role of eHealth in Childhood Obesity Prevention and Reduction,” Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association.
Robertson, R. J., 2004, “Harnessing Technology in a Multidimensional Approach to Childhood Obesity,” International Conference on Urban Health, Oct. 31, 2007.
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