Julian dashed to the computer every day after school for the final part of this past school year. He was wearing a little plastic meter that allowed him to earn points for physical activity and he needed to plug the meter into the computer to see his points.
The website he was logging into is called Zamzee and the idea behind it is that if you reward kids for movement, they’ll be motivated, and eventually will develop healthy habits.
I first heard about Zamzee from my friend Dan, a local dad who works for the company. A couple of months ago, he asked me and Heather to do some consulting for them. I went home from our first meeting with a Zamzee meter, but had no idea how Julian would take to it. Like an Olympic gymnast to glittery hair spray is the answer.
Julian loved seeing his points on the screen. He would put on his Zamzee, run around like a crazy person in our backyard, and then come inside, slide the USB connector out, plug the meter into the computer, and upload his data to see the chart change.
Unlike a pedometer, Zamzee meters measure movement in all directions, so jumping on the bed, karate chopping one’s little sister, and somersaulting down a hill will all earn points for kids. This is not just about measuring steps.
At the EVO conference Heather and I attended a few weeks ago, we got the opportunity to pass Zamzee meters out to parents and kids who wanted to try them out. It was so much fun to see how excited people got about them.
Moms wanted to know if they could use the meters themselves. Why yes, yes you can. But note that it is designed for kids, so everything from your avatar to the lingo used on the site is going to feel very tween. You’ll be earning Pointz and setting Goalz. If you’re cool with that, like, rock on.
The company behind Zamzee is a non-profit devoted to wellness. Their mission is to battle chronic illness and to help kids develop healthy levels of physical activity, as a lifelong habit.
What do you think? Would you like to geek out on your activity data? Do you have a niece or nephew who needs an extra little push to get more exercise?
Note: Zamzee is our client and we are having a lot of fun telling people about it. All photos by Wendy Copley.
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