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They may consider games like Nintendo Wii and Dance Dance Revolution for physical training purposes

The Navy has frequently been seen in the headlines  for advancements made from using hardware technology to get its aircraft and fighting vehicles into shape; it may now turn to software technology to get its newest recruits in motion and out onto the playing field.

Navy officials are weighing in on using interactive video games like the Nintendo Wii and
Dance Dance Revolution to help new enlistees build up endurance and get past boot camp.   There is a growing concern that those who are currently enlisting require more work to get into shape than was needed with past recruits.  Officials are attributing it to a more sedentary lifestyle.

Recent studies indicate that the Wii has little effect on family fitness, but that has not stopped the Navy from heavily considering the possibility of using interactive games in the training of its recruits.   According to the
Navy Times, Navy Surgeon General Vice Adm. Adam Robinson believes that most young people prefer computers and video games to sports and other physical activities.  Using interactive video games, in conjunction with traditional training could help new recruits when it comes to endurance, Robinson said.

"There are lots of programs now that people can [use to] become very physically active while they’re using interactive computer games," said Robinson. "So, in other words, this isn’t about [starting] with computers and stopping [everything else] — because we’re not going to do that. This is about incorporating those types of activities into something that people can use to become more physically active."

Robinson added  that there has been an issue in terms of physical fitness.  More new recruits are injured in basic training because they are not used to the amount of standing and running that is required and they have found that women in boot camp suffer more bone injuries than in the past, Robinson said.

"There have been more fractures and femur fractures and long-bone fractures in some of our young female recruits, and that’s related to the amount of activity and a sedentary lifestyle that they’ve had before they’ve entered the service and then the uptick in physical activity after they’re in the service."

The plan is still in the early stages and there is no timeline set for video game use in basic training.

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By AssBall on 5/28/2010 7:29:50 AM , Rating: 2
Make a 7 minute mile run and a (1) pull-up mandatory requirements for high school graduation.

Okay, maybe that's draconian, but it would sure help.

RE: P.E.
By Spivonious on 5/28/2010 8:11:31 AM , Rating: 3
1 pull-up, sure, but I think a 7 minute mile is little fast for the average high schooler. Maybe 9 minutes. We had some people in our class who took 15-20 minutes, although they couldn't/wouldn't run the whole time.

RE: P.E.
By Spivonious on 5/28/2010 8:12:11 AM , Rating: 2
I'd be happy if they just put gym class back to 3 times a week. My local high school does it one day a week for half the year.

RE: P.E.
By ClownPuncher on 5/28/2010 11:39:33 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, things have changed in 10 years. I had PE 3 times a week, though it was an elective after sophomore year.

People ask, "Why should I take PE if it doesn't teach me job skills?" to which I say, being in shape, maintaining proper metabolism, and generally being a little more fit than the average has many benefits in the job world. More oxygen to the brain, not getting tired right after lunch, being able to fight off cold/flu easier etc etc..

RE: P.E.
By Obujuwami on 5/28/2010 11:47:57 AM , Rating: 3
I, sir, Agree with you. Right outta high school i was 6'1" and a trim 240...10 years later I'm sitting in my chair 6-8 hours a day doing IT and I get barely any exercise because of work and family commitments. I gained 80lbs...that's 320 for that can't do math and I have all the problems you spoke of. I just wish my job gave me a treadmill so I could walk and work.

RE: P.E.
By sleepeeg3 on 5/28/10, Rating: 0
RE: P.E.
By monomer on 5/28/2010 1:06:59 PM , Rating: 2
Instead of just exercise, they should also teach basic nutrition in schools as well. I know at my school they did try to throw in some nutritional information in the half-semester cooking class everyone had to take and interjected slightly throughout PE whenever the coach would think about it (almost never) but it was really very thin on useful information.

Basically, it boiled down to follow the government food guide, which is actually a decent start which everyone should at least be aware of.

RE: P.E.
By AssBall on 5/28/2010 1:17:14 PM , Rating: 2
This does and can help.

One problem I know happens though is that nutrition ideas seem to change every few years. You can't expect the average high school P.E teacher to keep up on all of it like a college level nutritionist. That and sometimes the current ideas are shown to later be just plain wrong.

RE: P.E.
By MrBlastman on 5/28/2010 8:55:43 AM , Rating: 2
I can vouch for the 7 minute mile. I was only ever able to do 8 and I'm pretty darned slim and trim (I was in high school too). Even when I did the 8 minute mile, I developed the dry heaves afterwards. This was after running 3 miles in the morning and 3 miles in the night for a four month period, so you'd think I would be able to do a sub 8-minute mile by then.

I couldn't. The reason is actually a bit more obtuse but quite elegant when you know the truth. The truth is I was born with a heart condition. It prevented me from pumping enough blood throughout my body under exertion via stenosis.

If you force high school kids to do a 7 minute mile, there _will_ be some, even though they appear extremely fit (4 hours a day practicing martial arts makes you pretty fit), they still might have underlying physical conditions that prevent them from achieving that goal.

RE: P.E.
By AssBall on 5/28/2010 9:49:54 AM , Rating: 2
There would have to be exceptions of course. But the people with exceptions aren't usually Navy recruited.

And since I don't know very many girls who can do a pull up at all, maybe that arm flex hang or something. And I just threw 7 minutes out there. I know we had to run 20 minutes 3 times a week in P.E. and by the end of highschool most kids had improved their times by 25-40%. I went from 9 to high fives (I blame tennis practice).

It's not so important what standards are decided on, but that there is at least some kind of standard.

RE: P.E.
By rcc on 5/28/2010 11:58:19 AM , Rating: 2
Standards? We can't have standards. They are an insult to the people that can't meet them. After all, "no child left behind" and all that rot.

That was sarcasm if you didn't catch it.

I'm actually more in favor of the "no child held back" program.

RE: P.E.
By monomer on 5/28/2010 12:57:35 PM , Rating: 2
I was talking to a friend who is a primary school teacher (Grade 1-2), and she told me that they are no longer allowed to fail a child since it would be detrimental to their self-esteem. I would imagine that staying back and doing okay in school would be better for your self-esteem than spending the next 12 years struggling to keep up.

RE: P.E.
By AssBall on 5/28/2010 1:23:26 PM , Rating: 2
That and the little retard's parents throw a damn fit to the school board if they are failed. My mother and 4 of my Aunts are teachers and say this happens all the time. They say the parents and school administration politics are usually a bigger problem than the child.

RE: P.E.
By Totally on 5/30/2010 4:36:52 PM , Rating: 2
3 mile am/pm runs only train endurance not speed. To shave seconds off your time you'll need to mix it up and with some anaerobic exercises like mountain climbers, flutter kicks, bicycle kicks, even swimming laps in pool. Once you build up you build up your leg muscles, learn to breath, proper form, and how to stay mentally focused. Mile times from High-6s to mid-7s shouldn't be all that hard to achieve. I don't remember my last mile time, but right now my mile and a half time is right at 9:30 and even with me slowing down the the final quarter. Running set distances regularly does nothing to help you improve, just maintains whatever level you are at.

RE: P.E.
By inperfectdarkness on 5/28/2010 9:03:03 AM , Rating: 2
it would be better if PE was a doctrinal part of education at all levels--and the vast majority of jobs as well.

golf is NOT PE.

RE: P.E.
By MrBlastman on 5/28/2010 9:14:26 AM , Rating: 2
golf is NOT PE.

Have you ever walked a full 18 holes without a cart and carried your own bag the whole way while playing the game?

I guarantee you that you'll be a little sore the next day.

It might not be aerobic exercise but it sure beats the living heck out of sitting on the couch all day and stuffing down potato chips.

RE: P.E.
By Flunk on 5/28/2010 9:56:53 AM , Rating: 2
I have and it's not really very good cardio. Very low impact, the aches are mostly from haveing to hold the bag at uncomfortable angles for a long time. A good bike ride or run is better excersise and will likely hurt less the next day.

RE: P.E.
By sleepeeg3 on 5/28/2010 4:35:23 PM , Rating: 2
You could play 3 rounds of golf every day of your life and not be able to run a 7 minute mile. In one round, you walk about 5 miles and burn about 500 calories, but it doesn't stress your heart. You need to keep your heart rate at 60-80% of your maximum for at least 15-20 minutes to start building cardiovascular muscle.

By HostileEffect on 5/28/2010 9:15:01 AM , Rating: 2
People who really want a military career or are driven are likely to find a way to get get a basic balance of endurance, basic strength, speed, and power to weight ratio, help or no help. Showing up for group PT while in DEP will help a lot, if you can attend.

Couch potoato who can't yet do pushups or pullups, it will take a few weeks to get the strength to do them, then about 1-3 years to get very fit. Pushups build strength to help with pullups, running conditions the lungs and swimming is easier to re-learn when you adapt after a few days.

I can go on and on but calisthenics, a warmup, and never stop trying to be better, is all you need to get "whipped into shape". It just takes a lot of time. O yeah run to.

So the point of my post... don't waste money on elaborate programs or games when the basics will always work.

RE: stop
By HostileEffect on 5/28/2010 9:36:23 AM , Rating: 2
Maybe treadmills and bikes with TV screens where you either watch TV or race based on how fast you are moving, complete with handlebars. Might be good to keep a beginner's mind busy but its not a long term substitute for outdoor running or swimming.

My apologies for the double post.

RE: stop
By Schrag4 on 5/28/2010 12:18:34 PM , Rating: 2
...and swimming is easier to re-learn...

People can forget how to swim? This is an honest question. I can't bring myself to believe it. Does anyone know someone (yourself included) who has ever admitted to swimming a lot as a kid but not knowing how to do it now?

RE: stop
By HostileEffect on 5/28/2010 8:41:01 PM , Rating: 2
The knowledge is still there, you don't forget it. What I mean is that after about ten or more years of being out of competition swimming, as well as maybe bobbing in a pool once a year, it takes a few days to relearn the coordination, not the strokes.

If you built up your lung endurance with running, the CR system is already fit and the adaptation to swimming endurance will be a lot easier and faster. Adapting to a different method of working the same systems is a lot easier than building the endurance from scratch. This is my experience.

Its like training with deadlifts but trying RDLs. you get to start at a higher weight and progress faster because you are already strong.

Could it be?
By marvdmartian on 5/28/2010 9:54:43 AM , Rating: 2
More new recruits are injured in basic training because they are not used to the amount of standing and running that is required

Could it be that the reason these kids aren't used to standing and running is BECAUSE THEY SPENT THEIR YOUTH INSIDE, PLAYING VIDEO GAMES, INSTEAD OF GOING OUTSIDE TO PLAY????
Really, let's encourage more of that, why don't we?

RE: Could it be?
By The0ne on 5/28/2010 11:19:44 AM , Rating: 2
I don't mind the idea of helping the recruits out but seriously if one is considering service one has to maintain his/her shape and health.

But yes, I agree as well. My nephews and nieces practically have no exercise whatsoever. I blame this on themselves, since most are older now and should know better, and other factors. Growing up, I lead my gang up and down San Diego walking and biking for miles and miles for almost the whole freaking day. Sure, I play games back then. But when I see kids today doing it I just shake my head. 0 activity done. Pathetic.

Video games...
By MrBlastman on 5/28/2010 9:02:01 AM , Rating: 2
I think there are many ways the Navy could use Video Games to better extent than physical training. The Wii Fit is hardly the best platform for physical fitness. I think the Navy is really missing the ball on this...

There have been several studies recently, the above is just one of many, that have shown that Video Games dramatically increase the mental aptitude of the gamer. I pressent to you the results of one study that shows that Surgeons benefit greatly from playing video games. In a nutshell, surgeons who played games were 27% faster and made 37% fewer errors than those who didn't.

To be fair, these were laproscopic surgeons, so control manipulation of a remote surgical platform was crucial for their profession. I have seen other studies that relate to general surgeons as well. The point is, they develop advanced mental acuity, awareness, strategic thinking, and ability to execute while under pressure.

I think the Navy is missing the ball here. They should instead, be using these games to enhance in their officers the mental repertoire needed to operate under high-stress situations such as those in combat or emergencies. The Army or Marines could benefit from this as well. The Navy especially could use it with enlisted men that work in say the Air Traffic Control of a flight deck or even the flight deck crew themselves as it already is a high stress situation even without combat being involved.

By bubbastrangelove on 5/28/2010 1:57:03 PM , Rating: 2
Where is Gunnery Sergent Hartman when you need him?

Why wait until it starts?
By YashBudini on 6/6/2010 9:12:35 PM , Rating: 2
We need to be prepared for WW III.

By rika13 on 6/7/2010 9:12:30 AM , Rating: 2
People say kids need to go "outside".

What is there outside to go to? Urban planners rarely provide age-appropriate activities, they might throw a park in there, but it will be mostly designed for 4-6yr olds. "Outside" is also a rather nasty environment, bad weather and temperature extremes (lightning + metal jungle gym), random bullets in some more violent areas, and a complete lack of adult supervision.

Not to mention this thing called Asthma, even one of The President's daughters has it. Try getting a kid who has trouble breathing or a failing heart to run an 8 minute mile in today's sue-happy society.

The solution is an INSIDE exercise and fun (exercise bikes and treadmills are NOT fun) area with adult supervision, sorta like the Boys and Girls Club.

By mlnorris on 5/28/10, Rating: 0
"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007

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