Video Games and Fitness

I have always wondered if there is great substance behind the hype on fitness video games. One of my best friends girlfriend has the “Biggest Loser” on her Wii, and they play it together and consider it working out. I have played some of the sports games on the Wii and the Playstation Move. Personally I found that Xbox’s Kinectect dance games (as much as I hate to admit it since I’m a hardcore Playstation fan) is one of the best movement games out there and will give you a work out. However how effective are these games in health and fitness?

That is the Question……

After reading this online article called “Fitness Videos Games: How Effective Are They?” by Gabriel Kiley off of stlmag.com [http://www.stlmag.com/St-Louis-Magazine/Web-Only-2011/Fitness-Video-Games-How-Effective-Are-They/], I found some interesting results.

The local doctor said that Fitness video games shouldn’t be considered as a legitimate substitute for real sports and activities. Studies show that fitness video games bring some benefit for those who don’t do any exercise however, are not as beneficial as traditional exercises like biking, running, and walking.

A local St. Louis doctor Rajiv Patel states:
“If you do the yoga class on the Wii, you’re only burning one-fourth of the calories that you would burn in a real yoga class.” “…..And if you play tennis on the Wii, you’re only burning about one-half of the calories as you would playing tennis on an actual court.”

recent article in The New York Times, shared the results of a study by the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise on fitness video games. The study revealed that for adults who played fitness games in a metabolic chamber that precisely measured their energy expenditure, “only 22 of the 68 active video games tested resulted in moderately intense exercise, similar to brisk walking. The vast majority were light-intensity activities, which burned few calories and raised heart rates only slightly. None of the games were as vigorous as a run or an actual tennis match, and few lasted long.”

However, the same article cited that elderly exercise game users are the most likely to benefit from these types of games, particularly when it comes to balance training inside their homes. Younger users are still encouraged to incorporate other physical exertion into their daily routines and not depend solely on active video games.

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One Response to Video Games and Fitness

  1. sharleeism says:

    My thoughts about this topic are that if video games are the only way to get you moving, then so be it. It’s better than nothing, right? Some movement is better than no movement at all. At least you can stretch out your muscles in some way. Between playing tennis on a Wii and going outside to play tennis, I’d rather stay inside. It’s more temperature controlled and there’s no sun beating down on your face…
    If you’re sporty or like the outdoors, then by all means, go outside. But if you’re like me and get annoyed easily by going outside, then “workout” video games seem to be a nice alternative.

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