San Diego Boys & Girls Clubs Get Active with “Exergame”

| January 9, 2017 | 0 Comments
Dr. Health E. Hound offers exercise tips to local students.

Dr. Health E. Hound offers exercise tips to local students.

There was a lot of moving around for Kassandra, 10, and her buddies who happily tested out new “exergame” kits that were donated to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego. Known as NERF ENERGY Game Kits, the devices help encourage children to be more physically active through “exergaming” – a videogame that is also exercise.

“It makes me want to get active more,” said Kassandra about the kits. “When I get home I can play the games too, so I’m looking forward to that. My dad and my mom will really like that I’m going to be more active.”

The NERF ENERGY Game Kits, which use activity trackers, soccer balls and mobile games to get kids moving, were donated to the local Club by UnitedHealthcare as part of an initiative with Hasbro, the kit maker. The special donation was timed to coincide with the holiday season when children tend to be more sedentary.

The NERF ENERGY Game Kits enable kids to pick their own method of being active. As children participate in physical activity, they earn “energy points” that are tracked by the activity band, and these points turn into screen time to play the mobile game, NERF ENERGY RUSH, on a smartphone or tablet. The mobile game is an “endless runner” game that asks players to turn, jump and avoid obstacles to complete courses and earn power-ups.

The kits were distributed during a demonstration event held Dec. 14 at the Clubs’ Ron Roberts Family Branch. About 150 school-age club members were on hand to receive the kits and get in some exercise, with help from UnitedHealthcare volunteers and the company’s mascot, Dr. Health E. Hound.

The kits will be available as a regular part of member activities after school and on weekends, according to Clubs officials.

“We launched this program because we know it can help children get moving and have fun at the same time,” said Melissa Stout-Penn of UnitedHealthcare. “Obesity is an important issue to address, and we hope these game kits can have a positive impact on the kids and, by extension, on their families.”

The San Diego donation is part of an initiative by UnitedHealthcare to donate more than 10,000 NERF ENERGY Game Kits to schools and youth-focused organizations across the country, including Boys & Girls Clubs of America.

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