NHPS STUDENTS FIGHT OBESITY WITH STATE OF THE ART TECHNOLOGY

 
May 26, 2010
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:          Michelle Wade, (203) 946-8450  Cell – (203) 675-5132
Michelle.wade@new-haven.k12.ct.us
                      
NHPS STUDENTS FIGHT OBESITY WITH STATE OF THE ART TECHNOLOGY
 
NEW HAVEN – The Department of Physical Education and Athletics is currently in the second year of a $1.5 million, three year grant entitled THANCS (Teaching Health and Nutrition Choices to Students).  This grant program is run by Grant Project Director and physical education teacher, Marvin Christley, and Physical Education and Athletics Supervisor, Joseph Canzanella.  The program utilizes state of the art technological equipment to motivate students to reduce obesity and increase physical activity.
 
There are 16 schools in the district that are now outfitted with “exergaming” equipment like Dance Dance Revolution, game bikes, and Nintendo Wii.  Additionally, 11 schools in the district have “Brainbikes” which are cross-curricular exercise bikes that allow students to exercise while playing math and cognitive thinking games that consist of questions similar to those found on the Connecticut Master Tests.  NHPS has purchased a total of 20 “Brainbikes” through the grant and hope to purchase more next year.
 
In addition to the “exergaming” equipment, students use heart rate monitors, TriFit machines, pedometers, and handheld palm pilots. Currently, there are about 630 students in the district involved in this program.  The activities are targeted mostly towards 6th graders, but all middle school students have access to and have used the equipment.
 
Students are encouraged to keep journals of their fitness activities and the innovative technology helps them to track their fitness progress. When analyzed, the journals show the amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity students get per week.  This data was compared the American Heart Foundation’s standard of 225 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week for 6th graders.  The number of NHPS 6th graders who meet this standard significantly improved since the beginning of this program.
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