Release of a digital app to increase physical activity – and keep children active – World Health Organization | Wonder Mind Kids

On the eve of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, the World Health Organization, the Qatar Ministry of Health and FIFA are launching a new digital app designed to help increase physical activity and improve the health and well-being of millions of young people .

GenMove, Season1 is a gaming app that uses advanced motion tracking combined with artificial intelligence (AI) to provide an immersive video game experience for 8-15 year olds. The games require a range of different movements that develop different physical abilities and are suitable for children of all fitness levels.

WHO recommends an average of 60 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity per day for all children and adolescents, including activities that strengthen muscles and bones at least three times per week. Still, more than 80% of adolescents fail to meet these recommendations, and it is estimated that children and adolescents spend more than 8 hours of their waking hours sedentary and inactive, behavior that is associated with poor fitness, weight gain, and reduced sleep. The app aims to inspire many similar initiatives to get kids around the world more active.

“Regular physical activity has major lifelong benefits for physical and mental health and is essential for the healthy development of children,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “WHO is proud to launch the GenMove Season1 app with Qatar today. This type of digital innovation can be a powerful tool to reach young people and get them moving, especially children who may not exercise regularly.”

The app is being used today by Her Excellency Dr. Hanan started Mohamed Al Kuwari, Minister of Public Health of Qatar, at the Walk the Talk – Health for All Challenge, which is being held in the country for the first time. The 3 and 5 kilometer walks are organized to appeal to people of all ages and abilities and to promote the benefits of physical activity.

“Qatar is proud to launch this important innovation for children on the eve of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™,” said HE Dr. Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari. “We are committed to doing as much as possible to increase physical activity and promote the health of young people here in Qatar and around the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted young people so hard – restricting physical education classes and school sports – that it is important that we invest in promoting physical activity and using digital technologies to offer new and fun opportunities to be active.”

GenMove games are based on popular sports like soccer and include actions like jumping, grabbing and kicking to build kids’ confidence and enjoyment of movement. The games can be played indoors or outdoors and only require a phone or tablet (IOS or Android) and a small space to keep kids active.

Alisson Becker, WHO goodwill envoy for health promotion and goalkeeper for Brazil, said: “I love GenMove. Technology opens the world for everyone, but sometimes it can make you sit for too long. The GenMove platform can help you with that. At the same time you can have fun with your kids or by yourself and do something healthy.”

“The costs to public health systems of physical inactivity are very high,” says Dr. Fiona Bull, Head of the Department of Physical Activity at WHO. “Therefore, getting children to enjoy being active and building habits into everyday life is crucial to prevent future noncommunicable diseases such as heart disease, overweight and obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and many cancers.”

GenMove will be combined with a complementary FIFA football-themed campaign – Bring the Moves – encouraging young people to share their goal celebration moves online and attracting a following of active young people during the World Cup.

Notes for editors:

Families can download the GenMove Season 1 app for free here. It runs in real time on any phone or tablet (iOS or Android). Genmove Season 1 is currently available in English and will be released on April 19thth November 2022.

The GenMove Season 1 initiative is being led by WHO as part of the Healthy 2022 World Cup – Creating Legacy for Sport and Health Initiative, a partnership between WHO, FIFA and the State of Qatar (Ministry of Public Health) and the Supreme Committee on Delivery and heritage. The app was developed as a partnership between the WHO and a world-leading digital tech entrepreneur, G13R, with the aim of giving children around the world free access to Season 1 of the gaming app.

G13R Ltd is an artificial intelligence focused sports technology company based in London, UK. The company has established partnerships with the WHO, UEFA and well-known football ambassadors, including Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne.

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