Schools in West Virginia to control obesity in children. The public schools of the state will soon be utilizing this new game on a large scale. The game involves a player moving his/her feet on a special mat to copy dance steps shown on screen. Children aged between 10 years and 14 years will be able to utilize this game as an exercise.
West Virginia has turned to computer games to make school children more active to help tackle its position as one of the top three US states ranked highest for obesity. In early 2005 a pilot project in the state put Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) game machines in 20 public schools. Following the success of that trial, West Virginia is planning to roll out the machines to 157 middle schools and eventually all the 753 public schools.
This means that the game will be available to almost 280,000 public schools students across the state. West Virginia's education board is also developing a curriculum around the DDR machines to ensure they are used and will track the success of the project. The DDR machines are not designed to replace other physical education classes, but are expected to be another option for children who want to become more active.
Prof Linda Carson, who runs a project to study the health benefits of playing DDR at West Virginia University's School of Physical Education, said children aged 10 to 14 were being targeted because it was during those years that lifelong attitudes to exercise were formed.