Sporting video games are not active enough to truly raise users’ oxygen levels for improved fitness.
Active video games (AVGs) are only effective for light to moderate physical activity, according to Wei Peng, an assistant professor of telecommunication, information studies and media at Michigan State University.
In a review of published research on AVGs, the expert argued gaming could merely be used as a catalyst for real-life workouts and could prove useful for certain demographic groups, such as older people.
However, they are not challenging enough to justify participants’ substituting daily 30-minute intense workouts in favour of ‘exergames’, which only provide light activity.
“For those not engaging in real-life exercise, this may be a good step towards this,” associate professor Peng said.
“Eventually the goal is to help them get somewhat active and maybe move to real-life exercise.”
This is particularly crucial as the World Health Organisation estimates that more than two million deaths are caused each year by physical inactivity, including 22 per cent of heart disease cases.
That is despite the fact the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advise adults to undertake at least 150 minutes of moderate activity every week to stave off health risks.
Professor Peng continued: “Some people are very enthusiastic about exergames. They think it will be the perfect solution to solve the problem of sedentary behaviour. But it’s not that easy.”
The research, published in the journal Health and Behavior, concluded that AVGs should be used in structured exercises programs targeted at a group.
So rather than relying on video games to get help with fitness, why not get off the couch and make your way outdoors to enjoy some running.
Beginner runners should take time establishing a new routine and should not be put off by having to slow down for a rest, taking two-minute walking intervals between three-minutes of jogging.
Posted by Jenny Richards
09/08/2012 15:24:55Subscribe to the News RSS feed