Bummer: Kids don't get fit by playing Wii Fit, study says
Looks like we're not getting in shape anytime soon via video games. Reuters reports that Houston, Tex.-based Baylor College of Medicine researchers found that physical fitness games, like Wii Fit and Wii Sports don't help kids get any more in shape than, say, Mario Galaxy. Your dollars spent substituting gym memberships with nifty fitness game purchases may have been for naught.
While you may have seen results from the games, half of the 78 kids studied by researchers didn't show much of any. (Half of the kids studied were given a selection of fitness games, including Wii Sports or Dance Dance Revolution, while the other half could choose between games like Super Mario Galaxy and Sing It.) These findings are thanks to little accelerometers that each child aged 9 to 12 years old had to wear on a belt if they were the receive the Wii for completing daily game play goals over 13 weeks.
The accelerometer logs, according to Reuters, showed that the kids who played the fitness games got an average of 25 to 28 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity daily. The inactive group netted between 26 and 29 minutes. While that's a minuscule difference at best, it's interesting that the inactive group even got more exercise on average.
"We expected that playing the video games would in fact lead to a substantial increase in physical activity in the children," researcher Tom Baranowski told Reuters Health. "Frankly we were shocked by the complete lack of difference." Well, there's always, you know, going out and getting exercise.
Are you shocked that fitness games show less activity in kids than supposed inactive games? How do you think game makers can improve upon this? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.