Working out can become a chore for some adults, and some children would rather play video games than engage in physical activity.
An Aurora-based company called iTECH Fitness has found a way to make working out fun for both kids and adults.
“You look at a club and who’s smiling? Who’s having fun?” said Andrea Oh with iTECH Fitness. “Who wants to be there? Except for that really avid fitness person who’s highly-motivated by fitness. But they’re the minority.
“The majority of the individuals are dragging their feet to get there, they really don’t want to be there; they have no purpose there. The ones that really stay and the ones that really work are group fitness because it’s very social in nature.”
iTECH started designing video game software and pairing it with commercial workout equipment so people can play a game while working out.
The games require that you move your body to achieve goals and compete. It’s called “active gaming.”
“When you’re in there your heart’s pumping like mad and you’re sweating like crazy, but you don’t know until the game is done,” said Oh.
iTECH Fitness started up in 2004, but its founders spent the first couple of years doing research. In 2008 it had approximately 24 facilities. Today there are 75 worldwide.
Employees are doing up to six installations a month. They design and build workout rooms for companies, fitness centers and even schools where kids can use them for PE credit.
“We have them in schools,” said Oh. “We have a partnership with the State of California and the governor’s physical fitness and sport challenge where the schools that win the challenges actually win an Xrkade.”
The company is a multi-million dollar company, but still considered small. It’s privately-held. However, it has a very big goal of becoming the largest active gaming company in the world.