Tags: exercise | game | activity

Study: 'Exergames' a Viable Exercise Option

Friday, 10 August 2012 11:04 AM

Active video games – called "exergames" – may not provide the same benefits as daily regimens of moderate-intensity exercise, but they can play a significant role in getting some sedentary people to be more physically active, new research shows.
Michigan State University's Wei Peng reviewed 41 studies on the health benefits of such games and found most provide "light-to-moderate" intensity physical activity. And while it is not as beneficial as what she calls "real-life exercise," Peng said it can encourage inactive people to boost their exercise levels and push them toward the recommended minimum of about 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise each day.
"For those not engaging in real-life exercise, this may be a good step toward this," said Peng. "Eventually the goal is to help them get somewhat active and maybe move to real-life exercise."
Peng’s analysis, which was published in the journal Health Education and Behavior, showed most games provide only light physical activity, "so they were not meeting the recommendations." But for some people – such as inactive seniors, people with disabilities or those in rehabilitation programs– light-to-moderate activity can be enough and is certainly better than no exercise at all.
She added that they are most useful when used in structured exercise programs.
"Just giving the games to people may not be a good approach," Peng said. "They may not use it or use it effectively. It's better if used in a structured program where there are more people participating."

© HealthDay

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Active video games – called 'exergames' – can play a significant role in getting sedentary people moving.
Friday, 10 August 2012 11:04 AM
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