My name is Ryan and I am 25 years old. I love to play all kinds of games.
I found out about Zamzee from HopeLab, and have used it for about four months. How do I know about HopeLab? I helped HopeLab create the game Re-Mission2.
I found Zamzee to be helpful in my recovery from cancer because it encouraged me to get up and moving. The device is easy to use, just put it in your pocket and plug it into the flash drive of your computer at the end of the day. The Zamzee will then upload your progress into your account.
Zamzee users can accumulate points two ways. First, Pointz are given on a daily basis, based on just how active the user is during the day. But the other reward system is called Zamz. Zamz are like dollars and are accumulated by doing special challenges that last from five minutes to one hour. The trick is that they need to be done right away, as soon as you click the “bring it” button. Earning Zamz allows the user to purchase a huge selection of items, ranging from costumes for the user’s avatar all the way up to an Xbox One for 56,000 Zamz. Continue reading →
Every year in December, we have the opportunity to spend quality time with our friends and family. We reminisce over past milestones, whether it’s a child’s graduation or a winning science fair project. As we thought about this tradition at Zamzee, we realized we, too, have an family member we want to commemorate. HopeLab.
HopeLab is the nonprofit research organization that created Zamzee. Their mission is to use the power and appeal of technology to improve the health of kids. Like any proud kid who wants to brag about the work of their parents, we want to tell you about some of HopeLab’s accomplishments from 2013.
Ilan moved enough to earn 18,000 Zamz and get a Wii!
One of the most exciting parts about getting a new Zamzee is the realization that you can earn a free Wii or Xbox by collecting Zamz. Rewards are a crucial part of Zamzee’s game design to get kids moving. This type of extrinsic motivation inspires kids to make a behavior change and kickstarts their physical activity. As they work towards their extrinsic reward (whether it’s a small plush toy or a Wii), Zamzee fosters kids’ intrinsic motivation by making moving fun and social. The end result is kids get in the habit of being physically active. It’s an approach grounded in Deci and Ryan’s theory of behavior change and HopeLab’s research on Zamzee, which is why we know it works.
All that being said, every now and then it’s nice to meet a real user that’s benefited from Zamze. Ilan C., a Zamzee user from Greenfield Hebrew Academy, is the latest Zamzee user to receive a Wii for all his moving. We interviewed Ilan and his parents to find out just how Ilan earned a Wii, and how you can, too!
Zamzee: Hi Ilan! Congratulations on getting a Wii! Tell us, how long were you working towards earning the Wii?
Ilan: I was working toward the Wii for about 6 months.
Zamzee: Wow! That is a really long time and a LOT of moving! How did you stay active to earn enough Zamz?
Ilan: I did baseball, football and I rode my bike, took walks and ran too. My favorite activities are playing outside with my dad and riding my bike.
Zamzee: How does it feel to have earned the Wii after 6 months of moving? Continue reading →
Technology is a big part of kids’ lives these days, from the classroom to playtime. But the digital revolution hasn’t yet become mainstream in kids’ sports and exercise. Especially for kids who don’t like moving, you have to wonder: could there be a better way to use technology to inspire kids to get active?
Right now, youth exercise is pretty closely correlated with traditional youth sports teams. That makes sense because, in the United States, 75% of boys and 69% of girls play organized sports. But what about those other kids, the 25% of boys and 31% of girls who don’t participate in sports teams? Right now, we don’t have many good options to cater to these kids and get them moving. Moreover, even if a kid participates in sports when they are younger, they don’t always stick with the team when they get older. This video by the Women’s Sports Foundation makes a compelling and scary case for why girls, in particular, keep leaving the game.
If this girl had a Zamzee, she’d be the one doing pushups, and she’d probably look as tired as that girl does after scrubbing floors for three hours!
Lots of people ask us if Zamzee really works. This week, we received strong validation of Zamzee’s ability to make real change in getting kids moving. HopeLab and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released new research from a six-month scientific study of Zamzee amongst middle school students across America. The results? Zamzee increased physical activity in kids by 59% and reduced biological risk factors associated with heart disease and diabetes.
Let’s explain this exciting news in a little more detail, shall we?
First off, you probably want to know more about the study. HopeLab gave Zamzee activity meters to 448 middle school kids enrolled in the study from urban, suburban and rural schools across the U.S. Half of the study participants (the control group) just had a Zamzee meter to track their physical activity, but they didn’t have access to the motivational website. The other half of the study participants had a Zamzee meter AND access to the motivational website. Bet you can guess which group had more fun!
After six months of kids moving around with Zamzee, the final Point was earned, the last upload was completed, and HopeLab crunched the numbers. And the results? The group that had access to the Zamzee website moved a whopping 59% more than the control group – which is approximately an extra 45 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week. Hold your horses, everyone, it gets even more exciting! Kids who were really at risk for sedentary behavior got moving, too. Overweight participants (BMI >25) increased their activity by 27%, and girls increased their activity by 103%! Zamzee is really working for these kids. Continue reading →