Jockology: Will active video games like Wii tennis get me fit?


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The most recent Jockology column came out last Thursday, while I was hiking in the desert. It appeared as part of a back-to-school package aimed at the health concerns of school-age children, so I decided to tackle active video games, or “exergaming,” as it’s sometimes referred to.

The question

Will “active” video games keep my kid fit during the school year?

The answer

This is a question that has launched dozens of studies since the release of Nintendo’s Wii gaming system in late 2006, and the results of those studies are finally beginning to appear in peer-reviewed journals.

Researchers around the world now agree that “exer-gaming” does burn significantly more calories than traditional video games – but that’s not saying a lot. The real question is whether they burn enough to improve health and fitness outcomes, and the answer here is still up for debate. [read on…]

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