The exergames produced a fourfold to eightfold increase in energy use compared to resting, the study said, and four of the six games tested resulted in higher energy expenditure.
"I think it's interesting and potentially useful," he said. "Will [kids] substitute these games for other games? That's an interesting question. If they can, it would have at least an impact on energy expenditure."
Elizabeth DiRico, an exercise physiologist for Cigna Healthcare in Findlay, Ohio, said Bailey's findings mirrored the results of a similar study she did with college-age students in 2008.
The exergames are "way better" than sedentary digital games and introduce kids to other forms of exercise they may not have tried, said DiRico, who works on health coaching, counseling and preventive care with corporate clients.
"The thing with kids is not only that they're sitting in front of video games, but there's often a lot of mindless snacking going on. This makes it harder to snack while they're doing it," she said. "I think the major thing is that this is an alternate or supplement to traditional exercise plans."
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on childhood obesity.
SOURCE: Bruce W. Bailey, Ph.D., assistant professor, exercise sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah; Elizabeth DiRico, exercise physiologist, Cigna Healthcare, Findlay, Ohio; March 7, 2011, Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, online
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