With the growing rate of childhood obesity in this country, active video games may seem like the perfect fix for kids who would rather sit in front of the television than play sports. But a recent study shows that video games that encourage movement may not be as effective as we’d like to think.
The study, released in the journal Pediatrics and reported about in the Los Angeles Times, suggests that having active video games available to the kids in your home may not actually help your kids get active and healthy.
The children involved in the study were divided into two groups with one group given two active video games to use over a period of 13 weeks and the other were allowed inactive video games. The children were not told how long and often they should play the games. The children’s activity was measured throughout the 13 weeks and in the end there was no difference in levels of activity noted in either group.
The allure of the active game seems to be the hope that kids will somehow be tricked into exercising because after all it’s a video game, right? Author of the study, Tom Baranowski explains, “Simply having those active video games available on the shelf or at home doesn’t automatically lead to increased levels of physical activity in children.” Chances are, if a child is not used to being active they will probably need more incentive and encouragement than a video game alone.
What do you think of the study that shows active video games don’t really get kids active?
Tell us what types of activities your kids do to stay active and healthy!