By the time you have completed this educational unit, you will be able to:
- Describe the decline in child physical activity over the past few decades, the reasons for it, and the consequences.
- Identify a new generation of mobile game apps and connected playgrounds that drive children outdoors, increasing physical activity and engaging parents in playground activities.
- Discuss the health benefits of connected playground activity for both children and their parents.
- Define how playground owners and operators can use aggregate data on usage patterns of connected playgrounds to formulate programs, set budgets, apply for grants, and get community engagement.
- Discuss a potential case study of playgrounds that are Internet and app-driven, and collecting data to help in municipal planning and fundraising for playgrounds.
Children today spend less and less time outdoors engaging in healthy physical activity, compared to just a few years ago, and more and more time indoors, sedentary, and exposed to a number of screens: cell phones, iPods, tablets, computers, and televisions. The negative health consequences of these habits are already evident, and will likely worsen over time. But while many parents might perceive screen-technology as an obstacle to improving their child’s fitness, recent studies have shown that a new generation of mobile games can actually be a very effective tool at motivating higher physical activity amongst kids while also increasing parental engagement. They use the appeal of mobile games and apps to encourage children ages 3 to 9 (dubbed “touchscreen natives”) out to the playground, along with a parent who holds the device.
View the course PDF, then take the quiz.
If interested in taking the course in person, contact your local representative.