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Active Video Games Help Kids Exercise
Date:9/1/2008

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McManus and Mellecker found that compared with resting children, 39 percent more calories per minute were burnt playing the video passive game, 98 percent more calories per minute were burnt playing the active bowling game, and 451 percent more calories per minute were burnt playing the action/ running game. Moreover, the researchers found that heart rates were significantly higher during the active game and the action game compared with playing the seated video game.

Playing active video games resulted in meaningful amounts of energy being expended in comparison to the normal seated game environment, McManus said.

"In the J-Mat game -- Jackie Chan Action Run -- the children raised their heart rate to 160 beats per minute, expending more than 5 kilocalories of energy per minute compared with only 1.3 kilocalories when seated," McManus said. "When using the XaviX Bowling game, which essentially is a standing game with light intensity movement, children expended 0.6 kilocalories per minute more than seated computer game play."

McManus thinks that these games can be used to get children to exercise regularly.

"When playing on the XaviX J-Mat, the children played at an intensity equivalent to vigorous exercise. If they were to play regularly, they could more easily meet current activity recommendations, which are otherwise not being met," McManus said.

If the light intensity XaviX Bowling game was played for 20 minutes to 30 minutes daily, this may provide pronounced benefit for a number of the diseases associated with physical inactivity if maintained over time, McManus said. "Importantly, this lower intensity activity is likely to be more sustainable over longer periods of time than more vigorous intensity games," she said.

Dr. David Katz, director of the Prevention Research Center at Yale University School of Medicine, thinks playing active video games maybe a good way to get children exercis
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