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      GiggleBat: Enhancing Playing and Outdoor Culture in Australian Children

      , , ,

      Proceedings of the 30th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI)


      11 - 15 July 2016

      Sports, Play and Learn, Arduino, Children, Cricket, Exergames

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          This paper reports on an ongoing design-based research project aiming to improve the physical and social development of children between the ages of 3-5 with tangible interactive sport based play. The project pursues design, evaluation and implementation of an interactive sports toy: GiggleBat that merges benefits of co-design, HCI and user-centred design (assisted by Arduino sensor technology and 3D Prototyping), together with current Australian playing and sporting culture. The final add-on product serves from established rules and adds value to games of cricket, and potentially tennis and golf by enhancing prompting, information and feedback. We report on our design experience of GiggleBat and evaluation results from a series of focus groups with parents and an observation session with children. We conclude with a future road map for the product.

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          Most cited references 56

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          Overweight, obesity and girth of Australian preschoolers: prevalence and socio-economic correlates.

          (1) To determine the prevalence of overweight and obesity in Australian 4-5-year-old children. (2) To investigate associations between socio-economic characteristics and (a) overweight/obesity and (b) waist circumference. Cross-sectional population survey. Wave 1 (2004) of the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children. Nationally representative sample of 4983 4-5-year-old children (2537 boys and 2446 girls; mean age 56.9 months (s.d. 2.64 months; range 51-67 months)). Prevalence of overweight and obesity (International Obesity TaskForce definitions) and waist circumference (cm). Prevalence estimates were obtained as weighted percentages. Uni- and multivariable ordinal logistic regression (using the proportional odds model) were used to assess associations between potential predictors and the risk of higher child body mass index status and a multivariable linear regression model to assess relationships between the same potential predictors and waist circumference. 15.2% of Australian preschoolers are estimated to be overweight and 5.5% obese. In univariate analyses, seven of the 12 variables were associated with higher odds of being in a heavier body mass index category. In a multivariable regression model, speaking a language other than English (particularly for boys), indigenous status and lower disadvantage quintile were the clearest independent predictors of higher body mass index status, with children in the lowest quintile of social disadvantage having 47% higher odds (95% CI 14, 92%) of being in a heavier body mass index category compared to those in the highest quintile. Waist circumference was not related to any socio-economic variable. This nationally representative survey confirms high rates of overweight and obesity in preschoolers throughout Australia. The recent emergence of a substantial socio-economic gradient should bring new urgency to public health measures to combat the obesity epidemic.
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            Can exergaming contribute to improving physical activity levels and health outcomes in children?

             Amanda Daley (2009)
            Physical inactivity among children is a serious public health problem. It has been suggested that high levels of screen time are contributory factors that encourage sedentary lifestyles in young people. As physical inactivity and obesity levels continue to rise in young people, it has been proposed that new-generation active computer- and video-console games (otherwise known as "exergaming") may offer the opportunity to contribute to young people's energy expenditure during their free time. Although studies have produced some encouraging results regarding the energy costs involved in playing active video-console games, the energy costs of playing the authentic versions of activity-based video games are substantially larger, highlighting that active gaming is no substitute for real sports and activities. A small number of exergaming activities engage children in moderate-intensity activity, but most do not. Only 3 very small trials have considered the effects of exergaming on physical activity levels and/or other health outcomes in children. Evidence from these trials has been mixed; positive trends for improvements in some health outcomes in the intervention groups were noted in 2 trials. No adequately powered randomized, controlled trial has been published to date, and no trial has assessed the long-term impact of exergaming on children's health. We now need high-quality randomized, controlled trials to evaluate the effectiveness and sustainability of exergaming, as well as its clinical relevance; until such studies take place, we should remain cautious about its ability to positively affect children's health.
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              Is the Wii Fit a new-generation tool for improving balance, health and well-being? A pilot study.

              The Nintendo Wii Fit is a new product that is purported to improve balance, strength, flexibility, fitness and general well-being. Currently, there are no controlled trials published to support such claims. The aim of this research was to determine the feasibility of Wii Fit in improving balance, strength, flexibility and fitness for healthy women aged between 30 and 60 years. Ten women aged 30-58 years were recruited to the study. Intervention involved a 30-min session, twice weekly for 10 weeks. The manufacturer's pre-programmed Wii Fit regime determined for age and physical ability was followed. All women were assessed before and after the 10 weeks' intervention. Demographic information collected included age, weight, and self-reported information related to habitual physical activity, regular medication, hormone replacement therapy and well-being. Balance measures included the modified Clinical Test for Sensory Integration of Balance, reaction time and unilateral stance with velocity of sway recorded. Clinical measures of balance and mobility included the Step Test, the timed Up & Go test (TUG) and the TUG(cognitive). Somatosensory testing included touch, vibration and knee-joint re-positioning ability; ankle flexibility and the muscle strengths of quadriceps, hip abductors and adductors were also measured. Cardiovascular fitness was measured using a 6-min walk test. Balance (unilateral stance, eyes open (p < 0.05) and lower limb muscle strength (p < 0.05) showed significant improvement but changes in touch, vibration, proprioception, cardiovascular endurance, mobility, weight change, activity level and well-being were not significant. Activity fostered by Wii Fit showed an immediate effect on balance and strength that needs confirmation by statistically powered studies.

                Author and article information

                July 2016
                July 2016
                : 1-10
                School of Computing, Engineering and Mathematics

                Western Sydney University

                School of Computing, Electronics and Maths, Coventry University

                CV1 2JH

                © Mubin et al. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of British HCI 2016 Conference Fusion, Bournemouth, UK

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit

                Proceedings of the 30th International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference
                Bournemouth University, Poole, UK
                11 - 15 July 2016
                Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
                Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
                Self URI (journal page):
                Electronic Workshops in Computing


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