Pediatricians are encouraging children to play more video games, as long as those games run on consuls that depend on body movement, such as Xbox-Kinect and Wii, to move the game forward. A new study published in The Journal of Pediatrics has found that such games can provide a form of exercise that is lacking among the majority of children in the United States. The study evaluated 15 children, 9-11 years of age, as they participated in 15 minutes each of high-intensity exergaming (Kinect Sports—200m Hurdles), low-intensity exergaming (Kinect Sports—Ten Pin Bowling), and a graded exercise test (treadmill).
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The study concluded that high-intensity gaming resulted in an energy expenditure equal to that of moderately intense physical activity. High-intensity video games may also improve the vascular health of children. “According to Dr. Louise Naylor who led the study, ‘Higher intensity exergaming may be a good form of activity for children to use to gain long-term and sustained health benefits.’ These findings also support the growing notion that high intensity activity is beneficial for children’s health, and high intensity exergaming should be considered a means of encouraging children to become more active.”