Study shows ‘no public health benefit’ from active video games

Researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine have released a report on the impact of active video games on healthy children’s physical activity.

The results show consistent engagement by study participants (children 9-12 years of age) in games such as Wii Fit Plus and EA Sports Active yield little to no health benefit versus participants who played inactive video games.

"Our study indicates that there’s no public health benefit from having those active video games," Dr Tom Baranowski explained to Reuters Health.

Baranowski, a researcher at the Children’s Nutrition Research Center in Houston, expressed surprise at the results.

"We expected that playing the video games would in fact lead to a substantial increase in physical activity in the children. Frankly we were shocked by the complete lack of difference."

Baranowski said his team couldn’t figure if the participants just didn’t end up exerting much energy playing the active games, or if they compensated for exercise they got playing Wii with less exercise at other times throughout the day.

The study tracked 78 participants over 13 weeks.

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