CyberCycle exercises minds and bodies.

Engagement is at the heart of our partnership with Interactive Fitness. Introducing new technologies can be a challenge, but we’ve learned that when we harness “the power of fun” it inspires engagement, camaraderie, and teamwork, that generates a greater positive impact.

At a healthcare conference featuring Kari Olson, president of the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing (FPCIW) as keynote speaker, Kari introduced the importance of the “power of fun.” Olson’s statement piqued the interest of Bill Stensrud, CEO of Interactive Fitness. Stensrud’s company manufactures the CyberCycle—an interactive recumbent exercise bike outfitted with a virtual reality screen. The bike is designed to improve both physical and mental health through various challenges and competitions, where riders track their progress and participate in friendly team and individual competitions sponsored by Interactive Fitness.

An independent study underwritten by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and published in the January 2012 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that physical exercise with computer-simulated environments and interactive videogame features such as the CyberCycle can yield a greater cognitive benefit for older adults than traditional exercise alone.

Sensing a good fit, Stensrud asked the FPCIW to conduct a seven-week pilot with 19 residents from Carlsbad By The Sea and Walnut Village retirement communities to promote cross-community competition. During the pilot, residents reported that CyberCycle helped increased their exercise activity, improved their physical strength, and challenged them mentally. When it came to holding competitions, residents often expressed that riding in a team motivated them to exercise harder.

During the seven-week test between the two communities, FPCIW and Interactive Fitness found that:

  • Riding speeds increased from 10.25 to 10.79 MPH
  • 11 of 19 (58%) of riders improved their riding efficiency
  • Riders increased their overall efficiency by 20%

Community riders found many ways to get their friends and neighbors involved and motivated, and some even found ways to use their CyberCycle competitions to raise money for their local Boys and Girls club—a “fun-raiser.”

Through a creative combination of competitive structure, teamwork, real-time leaderboards, challenge variety, and recognition, CyberCycle creates a culture of fun, wellness, and cross-community socialization. Front Porch has since deployed CyberCycle to six communities, some of which have garnered top awards in national competitions and races and inspiring one resident to truly excel.

Browse our CyberCycle photo gallery.

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