Could the Nintendo Wii be used to increase physical activity in primary school children with early signs of obesity

Could the Nintendo Wii be used to increase physical activity in primary school children with early signs of obesity

Could the Nintendo Wii be used to increase physical activity in primary school children with early signs of obesity?


Increasing rates of obesity in young children

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 escalating prevalence of obesity especially in children accompanied by the high rate of adverse effects to 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 conditions that are life threatening such 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 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 similar age a few decades ago. Owing to the fact that playing of 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 with 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 burning of a higher percentage of calories for the sake of enhancing the health and the wellbeing of children. This is particularly important for the primary school children with early signs of obesity. This is th basic principle behind the introduction of interactive system of video games called Wii that was initiated by Nitendo. Instead of just sitting down and make use of the remote control, standing up while mimicking actions to be completed on the screen results to 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 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 Wii was introduced by Nitendo 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 ratings of the extent of enjoyment among the children is a further positive indicator that the use of the video games is an engaging activity and one of the most effective methods of increasing the level of activity among the young people (Epstein, et al, 2008).

Successful of use of video gaming to increase physical activity in primary school children with early signs of obesity is only realized with 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 HYPERLINK “” self efficacy (Lan, 2007).

Another model worth consideration is the theory planned behavior which establishes an interconnectivity of the attitudes to behavior an extension of 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 the 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 to negative outcomes as it serves as a tool of 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 is usually under diagnosed 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 ype 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 Nitendo 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


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