Active Video Games As Exercise

How much exercise are you really getting when playing active video games? According to a study published in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, the intensity of competition might be high, but the effort isn't anything to get excited about. Researchers recruited 26 adolescent boys and compared their energy expenditure while watching TV, walking, running and playing video games that require physical participation.

While these active video games were a better choice than sitting on the sofa, they ranked right up there with going for a walk in terms of energy expenditure. None of the different games evaluated required anywhere near the level expected to satisfy the 60 minutes of moderate to intense physical effort currently recommended for children each day.

True Strength Moment: In your misspent youth, your parents would tell you to "go outside and play" when they thought you were spending too much time in front of the TV. As it turns out, they were absolutely right. An active video game might be an okay warm down after playing sports in the park, but it's no substitute for the real thing.
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Sep 24, 2010
It's a shame that the only video games they tested were as follows: Nintendo® Wii Bowling, Boxing, Tennis, and Wii Fit Skiing and Step.

The only one of these games that is even relatively close to its real counterpart is bowling with the only notable difference being the weight of a bowling ball compared to the weight of the Wiimote. This could be considered negligible in terms of how much "exercose" you get when comparing actual bowling to Wii bowling.

Maybe if they included true active video games, such as Dance Dance Revolution, Pump It Up, or In The Groove, they would realize that some of these provide very similar benefits and amounts of exercised when compared to jogging/running. You should see some of the "professionals" who play these games. They are drenched in sweat 90% of the time. Their feet move at absurd speeds too. These kinds of games can often be a substitute for actual exercise, even if you play 20-30 minutes of it a day. As you get better, you can play harder levels of difficulty which provide you with a better workout. This is a great way to exercise when the weather isn't so great and you don't belong to a gym with treadmills