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The American Heart Association Partners With Nintendo To Get People Moving

May 19, 2010

According to a recent poll by the Institute for Medicine and Public Health, the average person spends more than eight hours of each day sitting down. The American Heart Association has been conducting its own studies to investigate the reasons why many Americans aren’t more physically active. In a recent survey, more than half of respondents identified lack of time as one of the main obstacles preventing them from enjoying regular physical activity. Of those who almost never exercise, nearly 40 percent said that “exercise is not fun.” The American Heart Association is teaming up with video game maker Nintendo aim to help eliminate these common barriers with a call to action that motivates people to “Get Informed,” “Get Empowered” and “Get Active.” The American Heart Association wants people to “Get Informed” about physical activity choices that will get you up and moving through a new section called Active Play and a Healthy Lifestyle. These include the Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports Resort software for play on the Wii system—games that some research has already shown to have benefits for seniors. On the site, you can do a personal assessment and learn more about living a more physically active lifestyle. The American Heart Association and Nintendo also will help people to “Get Empowered” by making personal choices about creating a healthy lifestyle. People can find fun new ways to incorporate physical activity into their lives, such as participating in Start! Heart Walk events and using the American Heart Association’s My Life Check test to evaluate their lifestyles. The relationship is also designed to help people “Get Active” through active-play video games like Nintendo’s Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports Resort, which also will be showcased at select Start! Heart Walk events around the country. Additionally, later this year Nintendo and the American Heart Association will convene a multidisciplinary summit of representatives from areas such as science, health care, research, physical activity, fitness and video gaming. The goal will be to bring together thought leaders, each with a unique perspective, to take a closer look at the synergies and potential benefits of active-play video games and physically active lifestyles. Some of the people involved in the development of the summit include Dr. Timothy Church, exercise physiologist and chair of the American Heart Association’s Physical Activity Committee, Hank Wasiak, a communications industry leader and self-help author and Michael D. Gallagher, president and chief executive officer of the Entertainment Software Association, the trade association representing US computer and video game publishers. “Video games’ remarkable ability to inspire and motivate are keys to reaching new audiences. This alliance between Nintendo and the American Heart Association marks an extraordinary opportunity, not only for both groups but for the interactive entertainment software industry at large,” Gallagher said. “At a time when most Americans could benefit from more regular physical exercise, these high-profile efforts to promote healthy entertainment help to make active-play video games even more appealing to consumers of all kinds.”
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