FYI - Get Healthy

Technology and Health: Meeting Youth Where They Are

Fran Dean Bishop, Co-Chair, Get Healthy! & CEO, AFC Management Services & MEC Kids

There is no getting around it, times are changing. The days of youths being able to go outside for hours at a time is slowly depleting.  In the 1990’s youths spent an average of four hours outside a day. However, now youths are spending an average of 4 hours in front of a computer, TV or video game console a day; while only spending approximately 4 minutes a day outside. So what does this mean for the health and fitness of students? It too is depleting, while the national average for childhood obesity is rising. So what can we do as educators, parents and companies? It is simple; we find ways to engage youths in an active and healthy lifestyle through vehicles that reach them.

Fact: If youth today aren’t tweeting, they have a facebook page. If they have a facebook page, odds are they have a MySpace page as well; which ultimately means that they are linked to some sort of social network where they can meet with friends and blog about their day. We have to understand that these technologies aren’t going away. So why aren’t we meeting them where they are?

When talking about youth fitness, we should take a hard look at how technology can play a role in our youth’s overall health and well-being. Companies have already begun to introduce youths to products and games like; Wii Fit and Dance, Dance Revolution, which use technology to engage them in activity. However, just participating in physical activity is not enough. Because youths aren’t playing as long as they use to; it is important that these products speak to them about their overall health. MECKids.com is this technology.

MECKids.com is an interactive health and fitness network for students. The idea behind the website is to motivate students to stay fit and eat right by using journals, maps, blogs and educational tools. Through working with several different counties, school districts and military installations, MECKids.com has a proven track record of helping youth get and stay fit!

So what are you waiting for? Join the movement and call 866-659-3400, or email contact@meckids.com.

Don’t let another day go by. YOU GOTTA MOVE!