PROVO, Utah— A new study out of BYU says that certain video games can be a legitimate form of exercise. BYU Assistant Professor Bruce Bailey says active video games boost energy and burn calories, but not all games are beneficial. “Be aware that not all games are the same, and if you want to get the child more physically active, you have to help them choose the right games and levels.”
“If you choose the right games, and the right levels on the games, you can increase physical activity from a moderate to vigorous level,” said Bailey.
Bailey’s study found that playing games like Wii Boxing or Dance Dance Revolution for twenty minutes provide equivalent exercise to walking a mile at a brisk pace with the added benefit of being more fun than regular exercise.
“It was enjoyed a lot by all the children, but the children who were a little bit heavier tended to enjoy the activities a little bit more,” said Bailey.
Gaming shouldn’t be used as a replacement for regular exercise, Bailey advises, but as additional indoor option.
“If it’s too hot outside, too cold, if you don’t feel comfortable leaving them outside but you still want them to be physically active, this is a tool that you can use,” he said.