Active video games can be source of physical activity for kids

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Washington | Published: June 15, 2015 2:00:59 AM

A recent study has suggested that active video games may actually be a source of moderate or intense physical activity in children five to eight years old.

A recent study has suggested that active video games may actually be a source of moderate or intense physical activity in children five to eight years old.

University of Tennessee’s Hollie Raynor said that the study shows video games, which wholly engage a child’s body, can be a source of physical activity, adding that the purpose of the study was to compare energy expenditure to unstructured outdoor play.

A significant difference between active video gaming and outdoor play was found for the accelerometer located on the hip of participants, with active video gaming having a greater percentage of moderate to vigorous intensity than unstructured outdoor play.

These findings suggest that active video games may be a good source of physical activity for younger children.

The strengths of the UT study include the use of two measurement tools considered to be very accurate at measuring activity, noted Raynor, adding that no one else has used measures with this degree of accuracy in comparing active video gaming with outdoor play in young children.

Raynor added that they’re not saying video games should replace outdoor play, but there are better choices people can make when choosing the types of video games for their children.

The study is published in the Games for Health Journal.

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