Apparently even today’s top of the line technology is no match for old fashioned bike riding and classic outdoor play. A new study revealed that “active” video games won’t actually make a kid more active.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that children and teens should get at least one hour of physical activity every day. Previously, it was believed that “active” video games could assist in increasing a child’s activity level.
Recently researchers tested this theory. Seventy-eight children were given Wii consoles and were monitored for 12 weeks. Half of the children in the study were given games like “Wii Fit Plus” and “Dance Dance Revolution: Hottest Party 3.” These are considered active games. The other half of the children were given “inactive” games like “Mario Kart Wii” or “Madden NFL 10.”
The children kept journals of their play time over the 12 weeks. They also wore accelerometers to measure their acceleration and exertion. The conclusion showed that the active game group was no more physically active than the inactive game group. The researchers thought there might have at least been an initial spike in physical activity at the beginning of the study, however they found that there were no differences throughout the entire study.
This is disheartening. These games seemed like a great solution for the kid who isn’t interested in sports. The concept of getting a gamer off the couch to play was hopeful. This is just one study and other results may tell another story. However, it seems fair that nothing will ever replace good diet and exercise for the health of kids or adults.