By: Kyle Swain
Video gaming and a sedentary lifestyle tend to go hand in hand, but new research from Ohio University thinks games actually help boost activity and fitness levels.
The researchers followed 56 participants playing four games on the Xbox Kinect and measured their energy expenditure. They found that games such as Zumba, Kinect Adventures and Dance Central 2 were intense enough to count toward the daily 30 recommended minutes of vigorous exercise. Cheryl Howe, the lead researcher, says the games could also be a boon to help the elderly to strengthen aging muscles and bone mass to help reduce the risk of falls. The research is just in time for the baby boomer generation reaches reach retirement age and beyond.
“It would be great if we could let people know that they can put the Xbox Kinect in and play Dance Central for 30 minutes and get their workout for the day,” said Howe.
With obesity levels on the rise, active games will help children and adults engage in activities that can be entertaining and healthy at the same time. The long-held stereotype of the out-of-shape gamer may soon be a thing of the past. Gamers will no longer be forced to choose between entertainment and their waist line. Perhaps this will bring a whole new meaning to marathon gaming sessions.