West Virginia Games for Health

Welcome to WV Games For Health

On this website you will be able to find more information about our project, sponsors, trainings, and useful resources for Physical Educators and students alike, among other things.

Please note that we are no longer providing equipment or offering trainings to any teachers or schools. Please see the “training information” link on the left side of this page for more information.

About WV Games For Health

West Virginia University along with West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency (PEIA), Konami Digital Entertainment, Office of Governor Joe Manchin and the West Virginia Children’s Health Insurance Program, Mountain State Blue Cross/Blue Shield, and Acordia, have joined efforts to place the Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) video game into West Virginia elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools to increase students? physical activity.

About Dance Dance Revolution (DDR)

DDR is a nontraditional video game. DDR players do not sit and move only their hands while playing; players stand and move their feet on a special mat as instructed by game displays on a television or monitor. The player must tap the corresponding symbols on the mat at just the right time to achieve a high score. As the player?s speed and coordination improves, the DDR game challenges him or her to move faster and in more complex movements. As a result of playing, the player becomes physically active, increasing his or her heart rate. The game is intended to become an option for physical education and health educators, providing them with a tool that appeals to students who often dislike traditional sport activities but who enjoy video games.

The importance of finding an appealing physical education tool can be found in data regarding West Virginians:

  • West Virginia is consistently among the top three states for obesity, with about a third of its residents considered obese and even more identified as overweight, according to the state Bureau of Public Health.
  • Nearly 46 percent of 31,000 fifth-graders screened in a coronary artery risk project from 1999-2005 were considered overweight or obese, according to the Institute of Medicine guidelines.

Extra weight can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, some cancers and other health problems. West Virginia leads the nation in high blood pressure and is fourth in diabetes. According to PEIA officials, one out of three children born in West Virginia today will have diabetes by the time they grow up. This is an enormous financial burden on the whole state. DDR can have a long-term health and financial impact by reducing obesity levels in children and instilling better lifestyle habits at an impressionable age.