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Kids' Energy Expenditure High in Active Video Games
Date:5/29/2008

Studies Show Active Games Burn Up To Three Times as Many Calories as Hand-Held

INDIANAPOLIS, May 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Active video games, such as the Nintendo Wii, are quickly becoming the most coveted gaming systems on the market. Beyond entertainment value, these systems appear to be helpful in encouraging youth to exercise, as profiled in three studies presented today at the 55th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).

One of the studies presented today examined energy expenditure for active video games compared to sedentary games to see just how much more exercise kids get when playing systems like the Wii. Gregory Brown, Ph.D., FACSM and his study team found that Wii Boxing, Wii Tennis, and Dance Dance Revolution (a popular arcade and now at-home dancing game) burned two to three times as many calories as traditional hand-held games. Brown's study participants included 17 children around 11 years old.

"I would still recommend that kids get outdoors and play sports or dance with friends in the real world as opposed to a virtual one," Brown said. "But if you're going to play video games, you might as well play ones that get you active and moving."

Researcher Viki Penpraze conducted a similar study, comparing two active games to a hand-held game and simply watching a DVD. Participants included 13 children, all around the age of 10.

During Dance Mat Mania and Eye-Toy Boxing, where players simulate actual boxers, children's accelerometer counts of total movements per minutes were more than four times the DVD and hand-held game activities. In addition, Penpraze observed a higher level of enjoyment in active gaming.

"Although enjoyment wasn't officially part of the study, anecdotally I can say that enjoyment appeared to be much higher in the active games," Penpraze said. "These active games are more social in nature than watching a DVD or traditional hand-held games. While one player w
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SOURCE American College of Sports Medicine
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