The Gamification Of Exercise – Wellbeing Magazine


Today’s guest blog comes from Tobias Showan, Founder of Exertia.

Wellbeing can often be framed positively, with
influencers and coaches encouraging you to ‘drink more water’ or ‘walk instead
of driving to work’.  Sadly, wellbeing is
more than often framed negatively.

How many times have you been told ‘don’t eat that’ or
‘stop doing this’? It’s all too common to be made to feel like you’re in the
wrong, with some authority ready to tell you off for your daily habits and
routine.

The trouble with negative framing is that it’s entirely
unhelpful. People feel restricted by these imperative instructions and
inevitably feel guilty when they make even small deviations from this ‘correct’
lifestyle.

Due to connotations of laziness, lack of exercise and
isolation, a lifestyle that is almost always framed negatively is gaming. With more than 2.5 billion video gamers from all over the world, this rhetoric is highly damaging and creates a stigma around
this giant global industry.

But I don’t see the industry like this. Gaming should be
rethought as a positive for wellbeing. On the surface it may appear to be an
isolating hobby but we have a strong online community that supports each other.
It’s also packed with creative, problem solving individuals. Just as an
example, look at how this World
of Warcraft group
supported and commemorated
their friend, Mats. 

The only wellbeing critique that gaming hasn’t managed to
overcome is the lack of exercise. It’s hard to ignore the fact that, by
definition, gaming means sitting down for long periods of time, often with bad
posture, eating bad food and not seeing any daylight.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

As the founder of Exertia, I’m actually building the
tools to reshape gaming culture and redefine the industry. I think that there’s
not much difference between the gaming and wellbeing communities: we both have
passions, a drive to succeed, are often goal orientated and build communities
around those passions.

I believe it’s possible to fuse wellbeing with gaming to
create a gamified form of exercise. If you notice you’re exercising, you’re
doing it wrong. We’re all about playing games and getting healthy as a by-product,
and we’re not the only ones who think this.

To find out more about our lifestyle revolution, check
out the Joyride

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