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Increasingly more Dutch people suffer from the consequences of obesities. According to researchers, the growing amount of obese children and adolescents is caused by an imbalance of physical activity and nutrition. Most influential appears the absence of physical activity. In today’s sedentary workspaces moving is something to neglect easily. Especially video games are blamed for adolescence’s inactivity.

Although people are aware of their unhealthy behavior, they lack the motivation to engage in sports. Surprisingly, a-motivations to sport originates for the greater part from fear. People with obesities report a fear for physical injury during sports. Swimming is a rather injury-safe environment, and therefore a healthy way to stay thin (or loose weight), and build stamina. Frequent visits to the swimming center would therefore improve people’s health, and as a consequence, prevent obesity-related illnesses.

However, it appears that traditional swimming paradises with water-slides, whirlpools and rapid-rides, lost their appeal. National Swimming Center de Tongelreep witnesses a steady decline in recreational swimmers. This decline in visitors has a direct impact on swimming sports like water polo, diving and swimming. Consequently, people become less interested in swimming sports, and sport organization have trouble to meet their financial goals. This is because the ticket sell for recreational swimmers largely finances today’s swimming sports. A decline in visitors means a decline in sport-finances.

In order to create a renewed and sustainable interest in swimming, the research project: [swim]games.nl, studies the design and impact of videogames in swimming pools. The research group utilizes the motivational power of video games to engage recreational swimmers in physical activities. In september 2012, the research group will create and study fun and engaging games in the swimming pool.

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The SwimGames course is initiated by the PlayFit project and brings together Fontys School of Information and Communication Technology, Fontys School of Allied Health Professions, Fontys School of Sport Studies, and Faculty Industrial Design of Eindhoven University of Technology.

Special thanks to Swimming Center the TongelreepSportformule Eindhoven, ROC Eindhoven & St Joris College Eindhoven

Basisschool Theresia

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