Who says being healthy has to be all work and no play? Just like there are countless PC and mobile phone games to entertain, apps and online games are increasingly being developed to help people get or stay healthy.
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People tend to stick with new habits like working out and lifestyles changes like quitting smoking in fun and non-threatening situations. With that in mind, here’s a look at four health games that aim to get users in shape and in better health.
Become part of the cure for diseases with this game that lets you contribute to scientific research by completing puzzles.
By solving puzzles on this computer game, you can help researchers figure out how proteins fold. According to FoldIt, proteins keep our body healthy and by better understanding how they fold, researches can better design drugs to combat disease-related proteins and discover cures.
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FoldIt is currently collecting data to see if humans’ pattern recognition and puzzle- solving skills make them more efficient than computer programs at pattern folding tasks. If humans prove to be better subjects, researchers can teach computers to use human strategies to fold proteins faster.
Everybody knows there’s no such thing as Zombies, but we would still run if they were chasing us.
This mobile game, designed for iPhone and Android smartphones immerses runners in more than 30 action-packed games and stories that you can use whether you are jogging in a park, running on a trail or even on a treadmill.
In Zombie Run you are Runner 5 and hundreds of people’s lives are counting on you to collect critical supplies without being spotted by hordes or roving zombies. When you’re running you automatically collect items like medicine, batteries and ammunition. If you want to boost your workout you can turn on the zombie chase which forces you to run faster to escape the zombies. The app costs $7.99.
Taking the stairs is a great way to shed calories, tone your legs and get heart healthy, but the process can be boring and arduous—unless there is an incentive at the top of the stairs.
That’s the premise behind Monumental Stair climbing, the free app for the iPhone. As you seek out and climb stairs the games uses the phone’s internal accelerometer to track how many stairs you’ve climbed. When you reach the top of a “monument” you can check out the view on your screen and collect souvenirs. You can even make it’s a competition by connecting with friends on Facebook to see who climbed the most stairs.
Quitting smoking is hard, especially if you quit cold turkey. Since cravings only last approximately three to six minutes each, it helps to have a quick distraction to take your mind off the yearning.
Quit Tobacco—Make Everyone Proud is an education campaign targeted at the U.S. military and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense to get U.S. service members, veterans and their loved ones to quit tobacco.
On the website you can play a series of games that are designed to serve as a distraction during moments of weakness or when cravings are in full force. Some of the games include Texas Hold’em Poker, Forgotten Treasures, which is a treasure hunt game and Word Challenge where you have to guess the words before you run out of points.