Start of main content
Age Range: 11-14
Duration: 60 or more mins
  • Biology
  • D&T
  • Mathematics

Fitness and gaming

Testing fitness to decide whether people should engage in computer-based sport

With such a wide variety of fitness-based computer games available, this engineering activity for kids encourages children to collect data to find out if video games for fitness have the desired effect on fitness levels. 
Do technology games really enhance fitness? Can you increase your fitness levels by being in front of a gaming computer? Use this activity to help answer these questions while at the same time questioning the validity of data and the difficulties of carrying out a fair test.

Activity introduction

This lesson involves a series of discussions and ranking activities to develop students understanding of the link between fitness, pulse rate, respiration, and activity.

This activity was designed as a science activity but would be an excellent opportunity to be taught in conjunction with PE and mathematics.

Students will divide themselves into groups of 4 to 6 and have a discussion to establish what the group understands by the meaning of the word ‘fitness’ and clarify a group definition.

Students should consider the following questions: what do we mean by someone’s level of fitness? What is a pulse rate? What is respiration and where does it happen? Why do we need our heart and blood? What is energy and how does it relate to activity?

What you will need

  • Projector
  • Whiteboard

The engineering context

The ‘Who’s the winner’ scheme of work provides students with an opportunity to collect data which they can use as evidence to debate whether people should be encouraged to engage in computer-based sports activities. The investigation highlights how difficult it is to control all variables and therefore carry out a fair test. The students’ evaluation of the investigation will allow them the chance to question the validity of the data, question the size of the data set used and question the time span data needs to be collected over before it can be used to confirm a claim.

Suggested learning outcomes

By the end of this engaging activity students will be able to explain what is meant by fitness, pulse rate and respiration and how they are affected by activity. They will also be able to explain how fitness relates to level of activity.

Download the free activity sheet below!

All activity sheets and supporting resources are free to download, and all the documents are fully editable, so you can tailor them to your students’ and your schools’ needs.
The activity sheet includes teacher notes, guidance, useful web links, and links (where appropriate) to the national curriculum in each of the four devolved UK nations; England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
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