Posted by Renee Schmidt

Fitness for geeks is a new concept; utilizing gaming technology to help geeks stay fit while they play digital games. A health prescription to the tech addicted.

Geeks inevitably play games, not always because they love them (but some do) but because they are victims of circumstance. It’s illogical to sit in an office for hours, doing absolutely nothing but designing or coding so many geeks can’t help but engage themselves with tech games. This is more of a boredom killer than a health prescription, making fitness for geeks an issue.

In what has been seen as the height of opportunism, Dick Talens, tech chief of Fitocracy, has come up with a real technological hit. Talens has taken the opportunity to make the most out of the time geeks spend gaming by introducing fitness therapy. Premised on a “levels” system (which is familiar to gamers), Fitocracy takes geeks on a journey of personal achievement whereby points are earned each time a gamer achieves a new level of fitness. Most gamers are used to working through levels with increasing difficulty to achieve goals –so the Fitocracy concept is not a foreign one.

What’s most interesting is how newbies who have never taken up a fitness program before can catch onto Fitocracy and how quickly they see results. Individuals score as many points as the level of exercise they undertake dictates. Squats, runs and jogs, weight lifting, name them; earn different points so it is up to an individual to decide about the type of program they’ll pick up. It is a real challenge worth taking, given that everything progresses from simple to complex just like in gaming, where each level gets tougher than the previous.

The main idea is to bring beginners to a higher level of complexity in a sequential way. Like gaming, beginners are taken through a series of practice sessions, or better yet; they are given levels from simple to “hard” or complex whereby they’ll keep adjusting as they learn. It isn’t a matter of trickery from the gamers’ point of view but rather an addiction drawn from the urge to go a step further.

The firm has an independent fitness for geeks application to keep track with the activities undertaken by each individual and awards points accordingly, through a pre-set system. And with the Fitocracy iPhone app, gamers can update records on the fly –ensuring no points or badges are lost. I’m not much into gaming but I’m definitely looking forward to testing out Fitocracy. You can register for free at Fitocracy and download the app.

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