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Questioning the use of video games to get kids more active

The next time I babysit my video game-loving nephews, I may not be so quick to insist that they break from their hand-controlled strategy games to play Dance Central with me.

study out today in Pediatrics suggests that playing active games does not necessarily render a kid more fit. For the study, researchers gave a group of 87 children ages 9-12 a Wii game console and either two active or two non-active games to play. They tracked the children's physical activity levels over a 12-week period and found that children in the active-game group weren't more physically active than those in the other. From a WebMD story:

Researchers say the results call into question the health benefit of so-called active video games, in which players use their bodies to simulate sports or dancing.

Previous laboratory studies have shown some increase in physical activity in children given active video games.

But researchers say their study offers no reason to believe that giving children an active game under normal circumstances at home will increase their physical activity.

The study does not suggest, however, that bowling with Wii Sports, practicing mindful breathing with Deepak Chopra's Leela, or smurfing around with The Smurfs Dance Party aren't still fun.

Previously: Would an active video game make a good gift for grandpa?
Photo by The Next Web

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