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Active Video Games Aren’t The Answer

Wow! We just read this shocking article on the NPR Health Blog, reporting that children who play “active video games” aren’t actually exercising more often.

A recent study done in Houston by Pediatrics journal, took 78 children between the ages of 9 and 12 and gave half “active” video games like Dance Dance Revolution and Wii Sports, while the other half were given “non-active” games like Madden.  Surprisingly, the study found that the children who were given the “active” games weren’t exercising any more than the children who weren’t playing active games.

The doctor leading the study had two possible explanations for why these kids weren’t engaging in exercise more.

  1. Because the children had already “exercised” while playing their games, they may have been less inclined to exercise later in the day.
  2. The children may not have exhibited a lot of effort while playing their games, and thus, weren’t staying very active.

He suggested that if these “active” video games had more of a story line, the kids playing them may be more inclined to work harder, and thus, exercise harder.

What are your thoughts?