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Medical News
A Visit with Dr. Elizabeth Lyons
by Jim and Lynda Guidry
Thursday, October 03, 2013

Dr. Elizabeth Lyons, an assistant professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston who recently received a $140,000 grant from the American Heart Association, visited with Guidry News Service about her project that can be described as “working out with the living dead”.  Listen (13:49)

The study involves a smart phone “audio adventure” app called Zombies, Run!

“I’m not particularly motivated; I know a lot of other people are not particularly motivated to run just for the sake of it, even if we have pretty scenery,” Dr. Lyons said, explaining that the game provides various challenges to the runner.  “Even though there is not actually a literal zombie behind me, it is kind of hard not to run when you hear growling in stereo in your headphones and you're running around at night.”

Dr. Lyons said her study compares the activity level of participants using the app with those not playing the game.  Online armband accelerometers worn for a week at the beginning of the study and also at the six-week and twelve-week marks help to document the study.

She said the participants will benefit from the activity the game requires.

“In my study we are getting people who are sedentary and overweight, and who are not used to jogging or running,” she said.   “We’re getting them to walk, but hopefully we are sneakingly, occasionally getting them to at least jog.  And then, we are hoping that by the end of the study that,  because it is such a task relevant behavior; and because it is more fun and makes more sense to be running in a lot of these situations, that they will want to run even though they are not being forced to run.”

For the official UTMB news release on this project Click Here




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