TEEN BOARDING SCHOOLS
Interactive games increase kids' level of physical activity
By Staff Writer
Many digital gaming activities have been developed in recent years in an effort to encourage young Americans to increase their levels of physical exercise. According to a report published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, games that feature player movement - such as dancing or boxing - successfully increased kids' level of activity.
Researchers from Brigham Young University studied 39 boys and girls at an average age of 12 years. The participants played games such as Dance Dance Revolution, LightSpace, Xavix, Cybex Trazer and Sportwall, all of which promoted vigorous levels of physical activity.
The research team found that all of the games significantly increased the children's energy expenditure, and that such a level of intensity is consistent with the recommended amount of exercise for kids.
"It appears to be a potentially innovative strategy that can be used to reduce sedentary time, increase adherence to exercise programs and promote enjoyment of physical activity," the authors report.
However, playing outside is still preferred by teachers and parents, as excessive use of video games may lead to addiction. For children who become hooked on their games, wilderness therapy programs can help by giving them a chance to go outdoors.