Video Games Help Children Get Exercise

Video Games Help Children Get ExerciseA small study at Brigham Young University found that active video games help children get moderate or vigorous exercise. This information could be really encouraging to parents and children alike, as long as it’s taken with a bit of caution.

The Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine said that some active games generate four to eight times the amount of energy expended as sitting on a couch playing a game that requires no movement. Researchers did not measure whether or not the games actually helped children lose weight to fight childhood obesity, so more research needs to be done in that area.

Popular at-home fitness games include Wii Boxing, Xavix’s J-Mat and Dance Dance Revolution. At fitness centers, LightSpace’s Bug Invasion, Cybex Trazer’s Goalie Wars and Sportwall are popular. Sportwall and J-Mat required the most energetic workouts from players, and Bug Invasion, Goalie Wars and Dance Dance Revolution followed in the amount of energy required to play the games. Wii Boxing didn’t prove to be that great of a workout because it only required about as much energy as a 20-minute walk.

In addition, researchers said that even though the active video games can have positive effects, that the energy required for them wasn’t nearly as high as getting outdoors and playing the sport itself.