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Well I hope everyone has enjoyed some time off with friends, family and loved ones over the Christmas holiday! I certainly did – plenty of laughter, games and good food.

Most of you who have been following the past couple of posts realize that I thoroughly enjoy playing the Nintendo Wii. It has everything I want in a video game console: fun, nice graphics and interactivity (gotta love these remotes/nunchucks!). And yes, I absolutely did play til I couldn’t play anymore. The Wii Sports Boxing always, always makes me look like I just came out of a pool and my aunt lets me know that I can’t sit back on the nice couch drenched in sweat. Gotta take the good with the bad I guess.

Well, today I was reading through Tara Parker-Pope’s recent article over at the New York Times and apart from the speculation that it wasn’t a “real” study, it got me thinking. Basically, the study from the British Medical Journal says that although games on the Wii, such as Wii Tennis, do allow children to burn more calories than less interactive (read: less moving around) games, it still is no substitute for the real activity. Spoof study or not, I think most people can come to that conclusion without much scientific investigation. But alas, I have another point to ponder upon!

Have we as a society become so sedentary and so bogged down with “losing 20 pounds in just one week” gimmicks that we have forgotten how to really stay healthy and active? When I was in elementary school, healthy living principles were taught frequently. Health education classes were important – your basic tenets of drinking more water, less soda/sweets, and running around in the sunshine were ingrained in our everyday lives as kids! Forget that some of the pictures in the textbooks were from the really early 80s where kids wore super short shorts – they were HEALTHY for Pete’s sake!

I’m sure 20 years ago people would have laughed at the idea of jumping and bouncing around with a video game as a form of exercise – that would have just been considered jumping and bouncing around with a video game. But nowadays, seeing a few beads of sweat on the average gamer child or teen is so rare, we applaud the moment. Forgive me if I’m wrong but I think we should focus on the basics again and for a good while in the classroom, because if I hear another 11 year old talking about going on the Atkins diet or asking about a new weight loss drug, I’m going to go insane. Wii for older adults/seniors on the other hand, might be something to look into.

Ever think about how interactive Duck Hunt could be now? Naaaahh…


Ok folks, it’s the most wonderful time of the year! Christmas time with the family is upon me – that means alot of good food, laughter and playing the Nintendo Wii over my aunt’s house! That’s right, I’m going to make another attempt at burning off calories playing Wii Boxing.

Please be safe and have fun. will be back in full force in 2008! Look for a New Year’s Edition that will forecast some of the things I want to do with the blog and content plans.

…say that 10 times fast!

This was too good to pass up – just a few minutes before I decide to head to bed (you can’t see it but waynsutton is saying “…something is going on 24/7”

How appropriate:


Sound advice for architects, construction workers and…web geeks?

One of the things that I aim to do over the next few weeks is to come up with ways in which personal technology and social media can be established in the public health/health education world. I really want to wrap my head around solid strategies and ideas to help communicate information about healthy behaviors using these fairly recent innovations.

To help with that, I’ve been surrounding myself with knowledge on social media practices and what’s going on in the health world. Today, Chris Brogan wrote a post about what he has put together as a “Social Media Starter Pack”! In all the excitement and hoopla that comes along with the blogosphere, tagging, and Twittering – just like anything else, we have to have a base for understanding. I think he really hits it on the head with this post. I’m guilty too! Who doesn’t want to try out the new beta version of something new even if it isn’t relevant to them in any way?? oh….ok well then I’M the nerd, not YOU.

So, thanks for slowing me down Chris and making me seriously assess what’s going on and how it can help my field! Also, he is doing a series of 100 posts called The Social Media 100 where he will dedicate himself to writing 100 consecutive useful posts about “the tools, techniques, and strategies behind using social media for your business, your organization, or your own personal interests.”

Check it out at

APHA keeps it moving with a blog for next year’s Public Health Week:

Looking forward to spreading the news..National Public Health Week happens April 7-13, 2008

The Perils of Twitter and Social Networking: A PSA

This was absolutely too funny to pass up. Despite serious concerns about addictions to the Internet, you have to admit, this makes you chuckle.

Thanks for bringing it to our attention Beth!

Ok so I decided to check what’s been going on Twitter and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the APHA twitter feed has been updated!  That’s what I’m talkin about!

In case you were wondering what the “twit” was, they just recently put up a website for National Public Health Week going on next year. Can’t wait!

For those who aren’t up to speed on what Twitter is – it’s basically a platform that allows you to do micro-blogging, letting people know what you are up to or what you are thinking at any given moment. Now I must admit, in the beginning I was skeptical about the usefulness but after diving in and meeting people/exchanging ideas, it became another tool to put in my box. Need a question answered? Send it out on Twitter and see how many people write you back with ideas. It was especially interesting to see how it was useful in the recent California fires.

Kudos once again to the American Public Health Association for breaking into the niche social media trend!

Ryan over at the Brewing Culture blog, wrote some thoughts on a recent news item regarding the amount of media that will be user generated in 5 years. With the pace of websites like YouTube and Myspace creating online celebrities, it sort of makes sense!

Here’s a thought along those lines:

  1. Not too long ago, the people in control of media and what we saw, heard and read, were sitting high and pretty because they were the ones producing all the content.
  2. Today, the consumer is now creating content that people can see, hear and read all over the world. User-generated content is quickly becoming an important part of all entertainment and media.
  3. Public health/health education aims to prevent disease and encourage the ongoing health and well being of all (stay with me now…)
  4. Physicians and hospitals are the people in control of treating illness and curing disease. When you are sick and suffering, the patient heads to the hospital to be (more or less) cured – because, they have the answer to why you are feeling the way you do.
  5. Today, the consumer is able to visit websites such as WebMD, to gain knowledge on a condition or disease. There are also blogs popping up on the radar that address health concerns such as DiabetesMine, The Health Wisdom Blog, and one of my new favorites The Health 2.0 blog.

How is this all connected you ask? Well, we are living in a time where the traditional “head honchos” are no longer completely running the show. And I’m not exactly pumping my fist in the air and screaming how much we should fight the power, I’m just realizing that there is potential in the public health and health education sphere for spreading knowledge on living well and increasing healthy behaviors. Now more than ever, we can begin to stop complaining when we think to ourselves “shouldn’t they know better?” I plan on doing something about it.

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