A recent poll by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., uncovered that, for the first time, bullying now outpaces obesity as the top health-related concern for children. This underscores the fact that it’s not just physical health, but also emotional and social health that we need to nurture in kids today.
Kids need to be physically active and socially connected
According to the National Institutes of Health, activity levels for kids between 9 and 15 greatly diminish, creating a need for more active play during this life stage. When we marry those facts with the bullying epidemic, it’s clear that we don’t just need to ignite more movement – we need to encourage kids to play actively, and together. We need to build camaraderie, respect and empathy in our kids. Tracking steps isn’t enough. It’s about active play – together.
Today’s youth are one of the first truly “networked” generations. They have been called “the sharing generation,” “the plurals” and, most often, “Generation We.” Connectivity is in their blood. They want to interact with each other. In fact, a 2015 Millward Brown global study said 25 percent of tweens worldwide actually interact with peers in other countries online every day.
Getting kids to interact beyond the screen
Yet as adults, it can feel hard to move them from their screens into the real world and help them translate their desire for connection into real, healthy, esteem-building relationships.
Enter Sqord – a company built to instigate group play in the real world. Sqord is designed to marry real-world play with this generation’s love of social connection and group gaming. Through its Activity Pod and Game App, Sqord fosters camaraderie, friendship and overall health – all around exercise-related real-world play.
One part social community, one part fitness tracker, one part game – Sqord tracks movement in the real world and converts it into Sqord Activity Points that kids can use in the Sqord App to unlock cool new features such as kid-safe messaging and sending high fives to friends, upgrading their PowerMe avatars and much more. Kids can compete with their friends – or the world – in head-to-head challenges on the Sqord leaderboard, encouraging friendly competition and motivation – all in a 100 percent safe, easy and fun experience built for Generation WE.
Bringing virtual relationships and activity into the real world
Not only did a third-party evaluation of fifth-graders find that previously inactive kids using Sqord increased their activity levels by 55 percent, kids who have “friends” on the platform stay active 50 percent longer than those who just play individually. Add to that, more than 28 percent of the teachers who have used Sqord in their schools have said the experience has made kids’ “respect for peers” better or somewhat better.
Sqord is well positioned to fuel overall healthier kids – not just individually, but collectively. That’s why Providence Ventures was an early investor in the company. We saw the potential for Sqord to not only get kids playing out in the real world, but to do it in a way that could enrich and grow their social relationships and emotional well-being.
As a company that understands kids’ health is tied to physical activity as well as social and emotional well-being, Sqord is designed to put the “we” in wellness.
Starting this week, Sqord is now sold on Amazon in dual packs to encourage real-world play with friends and family. The company also sells Family Packs that give your entire family a way of growing healthier and stronger together.
To learn more about Sqord and its impact on kids, you can see the evaluation report, developed by the Northwest Center for Public Health Practice with a grant from the Department of Health and Human Services, here or visit sqord.com.