More schools are recognizing the potential exergaming benefits of playing Konami's popular rhythm game Dance Dance Revolution
, as a new report suggests that more than 1,500 schools are expected to include the game in their exercise curriculum by the end of the decade.
A new report from the New York Times has claimed the figure
, and further notes that West Virginia alone plans to introduce 765 DDR
games in its public schools by next year. The game is currently used in a majority of the state's middle schools.
In February, Konami and the West Virginia Games For Health project revealed the results
of a 24-week clinical study into exergaming using Dance Dance Revolution, indicating that regular use of the game "improves arterial function in overweight children". The study was born out of a need to address the alarming epidemic of childhood obesity.
“Traditionally, physical education was about team sports and was very skills oriented,” Los Angeles Unified School District's physical education head Chad Fenwick told the Times. “What you’re seeing is a move toward activities where you don’t need to be so great at catching and throwing and things like that, so we can appeal to a wider range of kids.” About 40 schools in Fenwick's district currently offer DDR
The news is the latest to highlight the wellness benefits associated with playing DDR
. Earlier this year the XRKade Research Lab, the first university interactive fitness research lab for children, opened
at the University of South Florida with the aim to offer new and innovative ways of combating childhood obesity, including DDR
. The game is also featured
at Texas-based NexGym Fitness Centers, which emphasize exercise through “high-energy fitness activities.”
Leighton Nakamoto, a physical education teacher at Kalama Intermediate School in Makawao, Hawaii, added: “The new physical education is moving away from competitive team sports and is more about encouraging lifetime fitness, and DDR
is a part of that. They can do it on their own, and they don’t have to compete with anyone else.”