Is your child gaining too much weight? Then buy him video games! But hold your horses, we have to qualify what kind of video games you have to buy. According to a team of researchers from Hong Kong, obese children can benefit from video games which urge them to move.
Of course the first thing that entered my mind when I read this was the Wii. However, there are other video games out there that provide similar benefits. One India reports:
“A recent active gaming concept that allows players to experience various activities (e.g., bowling, fishing, tennis, golf) in a virtual world is the XaviX gaming system (SSD Company Ltd., Shiga, Japan),” the authors said.
“In addition to the exercise gaming modalities, the XaviX system includes a gaming mat (XaviX J-Mat) that allows participants to travel the streets of Hong Kong at a walk or a run, avoiding obstacles and stamping out ninjas,” they added.
Robin R. Mellecker, B.Sc., and Alison M. McManus, Ph.D., of the Institute of Human Performance, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, measured heart rate and energy (calorie) expenditure in 18 children age 6 to 12 (average age 9.6) during a 25 minute gaming protocol.
“Our data demonstrate that the two active gaming formats result in meaningful increases in energy expenditure compared with the seated screen environment. The next step is to test whether active gaming interventions can provide sustainable increases in childhood physical activity,” the authors said. The study is published in the September issue of Archives of Paediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
Not bad, eh? I think the Wii is still the king when it comes to these kinds of things but I am also thinking that more and more in the industry will follow suit.