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Active Video Gaming (Exergaming) is Good for Children’s Health

Active Video Gaming (Exergaming) is Good for Children's Health

New study suggests that active video gaming can improve children's health

It's no secret that levels of inactivity and obesity are very high in our current population of children. In fact, less than half of primary school kids meet the minimum levels of activity that are required to maintain health. Active video gaming, however, can stem that tide. Known as exergaming, using active console video games that track player movement could become a good alternative form of exercise. According to The Journal of Pediatrics, such devices as Xbox's Kinect and the Wii are becoming popular amongst children and can help improve their overall health.

The study, which evaluated 15 children from ages 9-11, included 15 minutes of exergaming with Kinect Sports. The kids participated in everything from 200m Hurdles to Ten Pin Bowling. Their energy expenditures were then measured by researchers, along with their heart activity.

The researchers that conducted the tests discovered that high intensity exergames expended the same amount of energy as standard moderate intensity exercise, whereas lower intensity gaming equaled that of low intensity exercise. Obviously, though, heart benefits were more evident with high intensity exercise. The kids seemed to like both intensities of exergaming, which is good news as they may continue at the higher levels of healthy activity.

Researcher Dr Louise Naylor said: "Higher intensity exergaming may be a good form of activity for children to use to gain long-term and sustained health benefits."

These studies support the notion that high intensity activity of any kind is beneficial for children's health. Needless to say, exergaming can now be considered as a way of encouraging kids to be more active.

There hasn't been a word yet on whether adults get similar health benefits from their Kinects, Wii's and Wii-U's, but further research is sure to be performed.

Source: Science Daily

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About the Author
Robin Burks

1630 Points, 9 Comments, and 29 Articles.

Robin Burks is the author of Zeus, Inc., a feature writer for as well as the owner of When she's not writing about gaming, geek culture, science or technology, she's usually watching Doctor Who or playing video games. She also occasionally speaks French, but not very well. Twitter | Facebook | Google+

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