Fun Fit Tech (Kinect Games for Exercise)

This project began at UMBC, where Dr. Anthony advised Samyukta Ganesan, a former UMBC HCC Master’s student as an independent study and then independent research. Earlier, this project investigated ways to design and develop exergames (“exercise games”) for older adults by taking into account their attitudes towards exercise, staying active, technology, and games. The complete original UMBC work can be found here.

Now, at University of Florida, the project has been expanded to designing exergames for children that can sustain their motivation to exercise in the long-term. We conducted focus groups with local kids who have varying levels of interest and motivation regarding exercise or games to learn what we can learn from them about designing exergames that can appeal to children for a long period. Additionally, we conducted interview with a physical education teacher to understand how to design exergames that can sustain children’s motivation in the long-term. Our findings showed that children and PE teachers viewed elements to include in exergames from different lenses: children viewed elements from a lens of fun while the PE teacher viewed elements from a lens of effectiveness. For example, even though both children and the PE teacher wanted exergames to provide “feedback”, children wanted “visual feedback through animation” while the PE teacher wanted “expert feedback through guidance and instruction.” Findings from our focus groups with children and interview with a PE teacher will appear in the upcoming proceedings of the 2020 SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (PDF). We plan to continue to work with physical education teachers and other individuals who are invested in the problem of children’s fitness, such as sport coaches, to design exergames that can sustain children’s long-term motivation to exercise.

We are looking for new students interested in working on this topic! (You must already be a UF student.) Contact Dr. Anthony at

The Team

Dr. Lisa Anthony
Aishat Aloba
Gianne Flores (Former member)
Ian Mayne (Former member)
Jaida Langham (Former member)
Zari McFadden (Former member)
Nikita Dagar (Former member)
Samyukta Ganesan (Former member)
Sydney Richardson(Former member)


You can find more videos on the project here


1. Ganesan, S. and Anthony, L. 2012. Using the Kinect to Encourage Older Adults to Exercise: A Prototype. Extended Abstracts of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’2012), Austin, TX, 5 May 2012, p.2297-2302. [Pdf] [Poster]


FunFitTech Project: Brainstorming themes and design ideas

In the last update, we were analyzing the data collected from the physical education (PE) teachers’ focus group sessions using affinity diagramming. Recently, we have extracted themes for the design of motion-based exertion games based on this affinity diagram, similar to what we discussed for the children’s focus group analysis. We […]


FunFitTech Project: More affinity diagramming

In our previous update, we were in the process of conducting affinity diagramming sessions to walk the data collected from our focus group sessions with children. Based on our affinity diagram, we extracted themes and brainstormed design ideas for the motion-based exercise game. We next consulted with several domain experts, […]


FunFitTech Project: Affinity diagramming

In our previous update, we presented our demo prototype of a motion-based exercise game to children ages 5 to 10 for feedback during three focus group sessions. The prototype presented was used as a design probe to help children understand our game concept, thus inspiring them to generate design ideas […]


FunFitTech Project: Status update

Since the last time we talked about this project a lot has happened! We have taken our basic working framework and conducted three focus groups of children ranging from 5 to 10 years old to get their input on future design concepts for the prototype. Even though our demo prototype […]


FunFitTech Project: Game elements

Last time we talked about this project, Sydney was studying the current state of Kinect games and we had a basic working framework which recognized gestures like Waving, Flying and Jumping Jacks. Through the lab’s research in the past, we have found that using our own low-fidelity prototypes as design […]

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FunFitTech Project: Current state of Kinect games

Our goal for this project is to research how we can motivate children to maintain a more active lifestyle. Since children already spend lots of time playing video games, we want to see if we can leverage that engagement and synthesize it with exercise activities. We are using the Microsoft […]

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