A recent New Zealand study has examined the effects of playing ‘active’ video games, finding that the exercise component of such games can be beneficial for overweight kids.
Writing for the New Zealand Herald, Martin Johnston covers the study, carried out but the University of Auckland in conjunction with Sony.
An excerpt (read in full here):
Weight loss evident with interactive video games
Active video games that involve leaping or swinging the arms can help control the weight of obese children, a large New Zealand study has found.
The Auckland University study of 320 children aged 10 to 14 found that encouraging them to play active video games has a small but definite effect on body mass index, a measure of weight in relation to height.
Participants had to have a PlayStation 3. Half were given an EyeToy kit with various games such as dancing, tennis and boxing. The EyeToy tracks the game-player’s body movements and integrates them into the game.
The children – the intervention group – were told that if they hadn’t met the recommendation for an hour of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on most days, they could achieve some of it with active video game play.
On average, all the children put on weight during the six-month study period, as expected, but the intervention group grew by nearly 1kg less.