A new study has revealed that middle school-aged children who participated in interactive digital gaming activities that feature player movement (exergaming), such as dancing or boxing, increased their energy expenditure to a level of moderate or vigorous intensity.
Bruce W. Bailey of Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, and Kyle McInnis, Sc.D., of the University of Massachusetts, Boston, conducted a study to evaluate the potential effect of 6 forms of exergaming (3 commercial products and 3 consumer products) on energy expenditure in children of various body mass indexes (BMIs). The study included 39 boys and girls (average age, 11.5 years).
The researchers found that all forms of interactive gaming evaluated in the study significantly increased energy expenditure above rest, with no between-group differences among normal (BMI less than 85th percentile) and "at-risk" or overweight (BMI 85th percentile or greater) children.
The researchers note that this level of intensity is consistent with current physical activity recommendations for children.
"Although exergaming is most likely not the solution to the epidemic of reduced physical activity in children, it appears to be a potentially innovative strategy that can be used to reduce sedentary time, increase adherence to exercise programs, and promote enjoyment of physical activity. This may be especially important for at-risk populations, specifically children who carry excess body weight," the authors conclude.
The report is posted online today that will appear in the July print issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. (ANI)