On the eve of the 2022 football World Cup, the World Health Organization has launched, in collaboration with FIFA, a new digital app to help increase physical activity levels in young people. The WHO recommends all children and adolescents practice 60 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical per day, including activities that strengthen muscles and bones at least three times a week. Yet, more than 80% of adolescents do not meet these recommendations. Even more concerning, it is estimated that children and adolescents can spend more than eight hours of their day being sedentary and inactive.
Called GenMove Season 1, the app is aimed at young people and adolescents. It is a games app that uses advanced movement tracking combined with artificial intelligence (AI) technology to provide 8–15-year-olds with a vigorous video game experience. The games call for a range of different movements that develop different physical skills and are suitable for children with all levels of fitness. It is built around popular sports such as football and involves actions such as jumping, reaching and kicking to build kids’ confidence and enjoyment of moving.
On the launch of the app, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, highlighted the lifelong benefits of regular exercise for physical and mental health, and how it is particularly important for the healthy development of children. He added that digital innovation can be a powerful tool to reach young people and get them moving. Dr Fiona Bull, Head of the Physical Activity Unit at WHO, added that “getting children to enjoy being active and build habits into every day is critical to preventing future noncommunicable diseases, such as heart disease, overweight and obesity, hypertension, diabetes and many cancers.”
The app is available here.