Does virtual exercise count towards physical activity?

I remember when I first played Wii Boxing and was sweating like I just went for a lite run.  It made me believe that there was something about using games to get kids to exercise even if they weren’t playing outside (which is ideal). 

A new study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine confirms this.  I guess the category is formally called “exergames”, but they looked at several games including (with their Metabolic Equivalent Task value):

  • Wii Boxing: 4.2 METs
  • Dance Dance Revolution: 5.4 METs
  • Cybex Trazer: 5.9 METs
  • LightSpace: 6.4 METs
  • Xavix: 7.0 METs
  • Sportwall: 7.1 METs

Here’s the summary:

[the researchers] found the games “compared favorably with walking on a treadmill at three miles per hour, with four out of the six activities resulting in higher energy expenditure”

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