ReimaGo: The World’s First Activity Sensor For Kids
“How many of you parents know how much your children exercise each day?”
Only a few hands rise cautiously in the air in reply to a question by Elina Björklund, Managing Director of Reima Oy. We are at a breakfast event that has gathered a large group of reporters as well as Reima’s partners to hear about the new ReimaGO concept.
ReimaGO is the world’s first activity sensor designed for children. It measures a child’s physical activity throughout the day and registers the amount of exercise into its memory. The sensor has been developed over a period of roughly two years in close cooperation with Suunto, internationally known as an accessory provider for active fitness enthusiasts. Reima on its part is a well-known Finnish producer of children’s clothing, whose mission is to offer the world’s best outdoor experience to youngsters – regardless of the weather.
With its special innovation, Reima has taken on the challenge of a very timely problem affecting families with children around the world: kids are exercising less and less these days. The matter is so serious that some research results suggest that today’s kids may be the first generation that lives a shorter life than their parents – if the development trend cannot be reversed.
According to international research in outdoor recreation, Finland is not alone in tackling with the challenge. In nations where there are still splendid opportunities for free and safe outdoor recreation, parents’ lack of time and energy radiates outwards into all the family’s combined exercise habits. Moreover, immersion in the world of games and consoles eats up valuable everyday exercise time from both children and parents alike. According to the recommendations, young children should exercise at least a couple of hours daily.
In the light of the research findings, there is one country where children’s everyday exercise and active fitness within the family are invested in and supported on a community level: Norway. In the Land of Fjords, kids exercise as many as four hours a day – either on their own initiative or through their hobbies and interests. Moreover, Norwegian families with children dedicate Sundays to shared family moments of activity and enjoyment. The experts think that the Norwegian model would have much to teach many others as well.
So what is the point with ReimaGO? In all its simplicity, the concept – which combines practical outdoor clothing, a free game app and a sensor that precisely measures movement. The goal is to encourage children to go outside and exercise, inspired by the game world.
Johanna Sarviharju, Head of Digital Development in Reima, actually compares ReimaGO to a refrigerator magnetic board where badges marking excellent attainments have always been gathered for children. Through the game app, parents can now realize and monitor how exercise has been achieved over the course of the day as well as set personal milestones. Parents can also reward their children for positive performance in which way they like.
This summer’s absolute hit craze has been Pokémon GO, which has shown that games can encourage children and adults alike to exercise. What then separates these two products on the market?
“Both aim at increasing exercise for children, which is a great thing. One of the most significant differences, however, is the fact that ReimaGO tries to genuinely reduce children’s screen time and encourage versatile types of exercise, whereas Pokémon GO is played closely with a device,” Elina Björklund from Reima sums up.