A common issue some people have against video games is that they believe it promotes laziness and inactivity in children. Granted, we’re all aware of the classic image of someone spending hours a day in front of the TV or computer playing a game. But with all three major consoles adopting a motion control system, the argument that games = laziness can hopefully start to fade away. In fact, some companies have taken a cue from Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony by creating virtual exercise software that make working out fun.
Although it may look like a typical video game, HOPSports is actually an educational virtual training system designed to get kids sweating. But unlike gaming consoles that are for the home, HOPSports is meant for significantly larger venues since it includes materials such as an A/V cart, computer, digital projector, a set of 60 weights (in soft, sandbag form), 10 mats, and tons more. Think schools, community centers, recreation centers, and other similar areas.
To further emphasize their commitment to youth fitness, HOPSports noted their many partnerships that include Sports Illustrated Kids, Cartoon Network, USA Volleyball, the Harlem Globetrotters (who appear in virtual form in one of the lessons) and the American College of Sports Medicine.
Now, skeptics may wonder why kids should work out in front of a screen inside a school gym or other indoor facility when they can go outside and play real sports or run around the track. However, according to HOPSports’ pamphlet, an independent study conducted by BeActive North Carolina found that children were 55% more active during HOPSports as opposed to traditional PE classes. Girls in particular increased their levels of activity and intensity with HOPSports by 68% compared with the typical PE course.
Personally, I think anything that gets kids up and running is a good thing, even if they don’t necessarily go outside. Still, it’s probably best to use something like HOPSports or a standard exercise video game as a supplement to sweating out in the sun.