Active video gaming could help couch potato kids, study finds

Active video gaming could help couch potato kids, study finds

Kids playing some active video games actually are getting some exercise benefit, a British study has found.

Eighteen children ages 11-15 took part in a study comparing a traditional sedentary video game and two Kinect for Xbox 360 games, Dance Central and Kinect Sports Boxing, with each one played for 15 minutes, according to a summary of the study published online Sept. 24 in Archives of Pediatric  & Adolescent Medicine.

Stephen Smallwood and fellow researchers found for kids playing the dance and boxing games, heart rate, oxygen uptake and energy expenditure were considerably higher then those playing the sedentary game.

In fact, playing Dance Central and Kinect Sports Boxing increased energy expendture by 150 percent and 263 percent respectively, according to the study.

Played regularly, the researchers write, playing the two activity-promoting games could be an effective way to raise   physical activity and energy expenditure in kids.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 60 minutes a day of moderate to vigorous physical activity for children, and warns inactive kids are likely to grow up inactive adults.

Read what the AHA advises about physical activity and children:

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