Computer games to battle childhood obesity
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Computer games to battle childhood obesity

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The Venue Leisure Centre in Elstree, Hertfordshire, is one of the first in the UK to launch a completely interactive gym of computer games.

The new facility includes games designed to be operated by the body rather than the thumbs and have been provided by ZigZag children's fitness solutions.

The gym, called Xergaming, has been created in an attempt to tackle childhood obesity by enabling the children to engage in physical exercise while their minds are distracted by a game.

The Xergaming Gym includes eight hi-tech arcade-style dance platforms complete with mood lighting, a state of the art sound system and big screen.

The Venue's platforms offer 50 exercise levels with specific fitness components, as well as all the latest and most popular song titles.

Sue Currie, a spokesperson for The Venue, said: “These dance platforms have become something of a phenomenon in arcades across the world, so the fact that we can now offer our younger members the chance to workout on them is a fantastic achievement.”

Xergaming also boasts four ZigZag Exer-Station Pro Junior machines, which look and work like an Xbox console, but use body movements to control the game instead of thumbs.

There are also three giant computerised Sportwall panels with hundreds of games. Children score against the clock by zapping lights on the panels, simultaneously tracking a ball, targets, sounds, scores and a time clock, earning extra points for skill, speed, cardiovascular stamina and team co-operation.

Sue Currie said: “All children love technology and with Xergaming's interactive gym they can do both, as the longer they play, the stronger and fitter they get. The kids just think it's play and fun, they don't realise they are getting a full body workout.

And, because the feedback is instant, they don't have to wait six weeks to see the results as you would with more traditional gym equipment. The new gym has given us the opportunity to extend our high level fitness provision for our younger members in a fun, but safe environment.”

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The Venue Leisure Centre in Elstree, Hertfordshire, is one of the first in the UK to launch a completely interactive gym of computer games.
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