Motivating Children Who Do Not Exercise Regularly
As the the major international sporting events to be held in Japan in a couple of years approach and health awareness rises, people's interest in sports has been increasing steadily. Against this backdrop, ICT applications in sports are also becoming more widespread.
While the percentage of children who enjoy sports is increasing, a problem of polarization has emerged between children who do exercise and those who do not.
While there are individual differences in motor skill development, preschool and elementary school are the best times for children to develop their physical abilities. In doing so, some important elements are often overlooked, such as rhythm and balance.
Fostering knowledge and abilities related to physical exercise is known to improve motor skills.
Based on this idea, Fujitsu has developed the "Fujitsu IoT Solution Social Sports Learning: Jump Rope Sensor Service" for visualizing motor skills by combining jump rope, an activity familiar to children, with ICT.
Fujitsu supports improving children's motor skills by helping them improve their physical abilities while having fun.
Thus far, Fujitsu has conducted trials of the "Jump Rope Sensor Service" in 32 elementary schools in Japan with approximately 8,200 children. Aiming to expand this service, sales have now started.
Showing Children the Importance of Exercise and the Fascinating World of ICT with One Minute Jump Rope Exercises
The "Jump Rope Sensor Service" works by placing a motion sensor equipped with an accelerometer and gyro sensor on a special belt fastened at the hips. Sensor data is used to quantify and visualize rhythm and balance while the child jumps rope. Afterwards, analysis results are reviewed to encourage children to make voluntary efforts, thus raising their motivation to exercise.
This service has two parts: the measurement lesson, where measurements are taken while jumping rope, and the review lesson conducted about a week later, where the measurement results are presented.
During the measurement lesson, children are given motion sensors to wear on their hips. Data is then collected during a one-minute jump roping session.
This data is analyzed using Fujitsu's proprietary algorithm, which computes the success and failure rates as well as visualizes factors that children are not conscious of, such as rhythm and balance. This enables children to become aware of specific points to pay heed to while jumping rope.
By quantifying the movements of something as simple as jumping rope, children evaluate their abilities not only by measuring the number of jumps but also by coming to understand various elements besides strength and speed, such as balance and rhythm. This helps them learn about the importance of exercise and the fascinating world of ICT.
In the review lesson, each child is given his or her analysis results, which are then explained in detail by experts who offer the children specific points to improve. This in turn leads to the children practicing voluntarily.
The measurement lesson, where measurements are taken, and the review lesson, where feedback is given, are each conducted twice. After several months to half a year, a second set of lessons is conducted, and the results are shared with the students. They can then analyze what improvements they have made, noting which efforts have been insufficient and which have been successful.
Achieving a New Type of PE by Using ICT
Teachers and faculty members are provided with distribution maps and charts that depict all measured results.
Since measurement and feedback are conducted in lesson format, a new type of PE that uses ICT can be realized without adding to the teaching staff workload.
Schools that have already experienced using the Jump Rope Sensor Service show improvements in children's motor skills.
Fujitsu is advocating an idea called Social Sports Learning that uses ICT to focus on widely applying sports leaning while aiming to help train athletes who are dedicated to specific sports.
Social Sports Leaning is an effort to harness ICT to create a healthy, lively society by connecting people through sports together with people from each region, including members of schools and NPOs. FUJITSU RESEARCH INSTITUTE has continued this research for five years.
Fujitsu aims to contribute to building a prosperous, healthy society through the use of digital technologies including IoT and cloud technology.