Virtual pets to help obese kids

If your kids are gaining weight because they spend more time indoor playing video games instead of playing outdoor, you may soon turn to technology — all thanks to a virtual pet designed to induce kids to physical activities.

Virtual pets to help obese kids

The pet — an obese virtual dog — and an overall game platform has been developed by researchers from the University of Georgia in the US.

Children allowed to interact with the virtual pet averaged 1.09 hours of additional physical activity per day when compared to the group without the pet. “We really wanted them to integrate the virtual pet into their individual lives, their social lives and then bring it in as a part of their environment that enables them and encourages them to engage in physical activity,” said a researcher.

The study involved 61 kids of ages nine-12 and appeared in the journal IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics.

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