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Marisa Ramirez
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Wii Stay Healthy: Class Incorporates Popular Video GameVideo Game Use a First for Department of Health and Human Performance

August 31, 2009 - Houston -

Staying fit is the name of the game for a new University of Houston physical education class, but don't look courtside or in the ring for these students.  This class makes innovative use the popular Wii video games to illustrate how to stay healthy and fit.  

"We thought this was a good way to reach those students who might not take a weight-training class or a soccer class, but would play an active game like a Wii Fit or Wii Sports," said Ben Hoffman, instructor for the new Wii Performance class.  "These students still will learn about nutrition and health and fitness that will help them out in the long run."

The Wii Performance class (PEB 4197) is new for the fall semester in the UH department of health and human performance.  The games, which allow gamers and avatars to move and act in tandem, will be used to illustrate posture, center of balance, and to improve knowledge of health and fitness.  Additionally, students will learn about basic principles of maintaining a healthy body weight through proper nutrition.  Assignments will include tracking the calories they consume and the activities they engage in. Any student can take the class, which can accommodate 20 students.  Students will receive one credit hour for the class.

 "Our department conducts a host of research into the epidemic of obesity, not only its root causes, but ways to combat it and the diseases related to it," said Jessica Wheeler, program coordinator.  "Using the Wii games can be both fun and an effective tool.  We anticipate that many students will want to take this class." 

Students will use several of the Wii games:  Wii Fit, Wii Sports, Wii Sports Resort and Wii Dance Dance Revolution.  They will be quizzed on health and nutrition information. 

"We're hoping that this class opens students' eyes to what they're eating and how active they are and should be," Hoffman said. 

For more information on the UH department of health and human performance, visit http://www.hhp.uh.edu/.