The Avatar Fitness Club is open on eXtension’s Morrill3 island in Second Life. Research at University of Kansas, funded by the National Institutes of Health, indicates that a weight loss management program using a Second Life avatar can be as effective or even more so than attendance at a physical world clinic. See the research at http://www.jneb.org/article/S1499-4046(12)00667-7/abstract
The club offers a social environment for changing habits and maintaining weight loss through regular exercise and nutrition education. It will feature content from several eXtension communities of practice as well as from throughout the land-grant university system. Activities include cycles, treadmills, yoga, climbing wall, lap pool, weight room, dance aerobics, and exercise mats. Soon live speakers and discussion groups will be added to the mix. The club has a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/avatarfitness.
Avatar Fitness Club has attracted more than 2,400 visits in the first three days, with engagement lasting an average of 30 minutes or more. Total visits to eXtension 3D content in Second Life for the period January through August 2013: 40,286.