The E-fit zone is an interactive fitness centre that combines gaming, entertainment and fitness to engage people in exciting physical games and motivate them to be active. It is a place where both the young and the old are encouraged to be socially interactive while exercising and engaging in fun competitive games. The E-fit concept was developed by the Dutch fitness equipment supplier Embedded Fitness in collaboration with a number of companies and educational institutes that provided insights, research, and practical experience that was instrumental in creating programs involving movement and healthy lifestyles.
Embedded Fitness introduced the concept of interactive fitness to Holland. Other than providing fitness gaming solutions for a varied range of markets, the company offers complementary health programs to users of all ages. The interactive solutions use the new media and technologies, combining them with fitness and gaming devices to make exercise more fun and promote healthy habits.
The E-fit zone concept can be used in schools, after-school activities, children's parties, and even business events. Schools, for example, can have gym classes in the E-fit zone, or start interactive fitness programs that include healthy lifestyle classes. The concept can also be applied in senior homes to promote movement among the elderly. Embedded Fitness developed the concept with the goal to roll it out to several locations in cooperation with various healthcare institutions, schools, government institutions, and real estate organisations.
The products used in the E-fit zone include a number of popular interactive games.
The ice-skating simulator, which combines exercise with the sensation of skating on natural ice, helps improve users' balance and skating technique. The rowing simulator is a real rowing machine linked to a game, providing users with a fun, social, competitive way to train all the large muscle groups.
The trampoline game uses a sensor to measure the strength and frequency of jumps and display them on a large screen. The Expresso Bike lets riders experience virtual routes using changes in resistance as they navigate different terrains. The Praxtour bike also offers a realistic simulation of a bike ride, using various European locations as virtual settings.
Embedded Fitness also offers a mobile E-fit zone, which can be rented for parties, workshops, and special events.
The first E-fit zone was launched in Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Apart from offering a varied range of fun activities to children, the zone works as a laboratory for developing new products and solutions, and also for finding new applications for existing products. Embedded Fitness has partnered up with various care and research institutions to conduct research of potential new applications of interactive fitness solutions. Interactive fitness programs are known to improve behavioural problems and curb feelings of depression by helping young people use their energy in a positive way. They help children develop healthy social skills and provide a wide spectrum of physical benefits, including better balance, coordination, endurance, strength, and overall fitness level.
The E-fit concept is particularly well suited to children with social difficulties like autism. The interactive equipment can also be used in therapy and rehabilitation of people with physical, mental, or sensory impairments. Embedded Fitness has developed special programs for these groups.
To promote the concept of interactive fitness and motivate children to be active, Embedded Fitness also organises interactive school competitions using solutions like the Nintendo Wii, Makoto, Gamebikes. More than 20,000 children in Holland took part in these events over the past three years.