Exercise video games better for kids than TV
The science is in and video games such as WiiSports and Dance Dance Revolution
, which actually involve getting up and moving around while playing, is about as much of a workout for kids as a brisk walk and uses three times as much energy as just sitting around watching the TV, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of Oklahoma health center measured the energy expended by 10 to 13 year olds children watching TV, playing WiiSports boxing and bowling, playing DDR on level two, and walking a treadmill at low, moderate or brisk speed.
Games such as Wii Fit
or EA Sports Active
are probably more intense workouts, but the researchers didn't study those.
"The games can fill in the gaps for rainy days or slow times when kids might otherwise be sitting around," exercise physiologist Kevin Short told USA Today, stressing that such games weren't a replacement for real vigorous exercise.
Of course, one has to be careful not to overindulge. Strain and inflammation from over-used muscles, often termed "wiiitis," has been an increasing problem, even showing up in the New England Journal of Medicine.