Countryside YMCA helps combat childhood obesity with video games, exercise space

Posted at 5:40 PM, Jul 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-03 18:45:57-04

LEBANON, Ohio -- Obesity is a problem that many Americans face, including our young ones. According to the CDC, nearly 13 million young people in the United States carry more weight than is healthy.

To combat child obesity, the Countryside YMCA has found a way to get kids moving using video games.

The new "Motion Zone" is an active space for youth ages 7 and up that combines video games with exercise using Exergame equipment.

According to the Countryside Y's website, "participants will burn calories, increase agility, and improve hand-eye coordination all while having fun."

Gwen Case is all for the active space utilizing video games; she brings her sons often.

"You can't get away from it; video gaming is part of every kid's growing up," Case said. "And the ability to utilize it and get them involved -- I am all for it."

At each station within the space, lights, sounds and electronics motivate movement, demanding much more than just sitting behind a controller.

"The kids have to keep moving the entire time, so if they're on the video game bike, they have to continue pedaling in order to play the video game," executive program director Zach McCollum said. "And all of the games incorporate physical activity and movement."

Since the opening of the space, it has become so popular that many kids have ditched the regular video games available.

Those interested in the program can visit the Y's website or call 513-932-1424.