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Gaming for weight loss

Gaming for weight loss

We all know the statistics, people are getting fatter. Even our once active children would rather sit indoors watching television and playing computer games.

Now instead of nagging your kids to go out to play and be active, new research suggests that we should be encouraging them to game.

These days with features such as the Xbox Kinect there is no reason why your kids can’t be active.

They can still play their computer games but will also be burning off that stored energy, and therefore reducing their risk of becoming obese in the future.

Research undertaken at the University of Queensland suggests that game driven exercise is the future of physical exercise.

What did the research involve?

Professor Trost of the University of Queensland set out a trial to test the effects gaming had on activity levels and weight loss in children.

Gaming for weight lossThe trial itself involved the 75 overweight or obese children participating in virtual games of tennis and golf, as well as running and stretching exercises.

Consoles used included the Xbox Kinect and the Nintendo Wii.

The trial ran for a 16 week period with the increased physical activity resulting in weight loss amongst the participants.

As well as those who took part in the gaming, there was a second group who did not. This group also lost weight due to dietary changes, but did not lose as much as those who undertook physical activity.

Professor Trost had this to say about the results:

“Both groups saw a decline in relative weight and body mass index percentile.”

“However the group that participated in active gaming observed twice the reduction in relative weight and body mass index scores than the non-gaming group.”

“There was no change in physical activity among the children who participated only in the weight management program without active video games.”

Our conclusion

It seems obvious to me that any type of physical activity is better than none. Of course getting your kids to go out and be physical with their friends is beneficial, you should not rule out gaming as a way of keeping them active.

Maybe you could even play these games together as a family once or twice a week? It would be a great way to spend time together having fun and staying in shape.

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