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Health and fitness: Video game simulations don’t replace exercising

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By Kent Pegg

I’m sure that many of you purchased video game systems over the holidays and have been enjoying playing them.

A lot of you may have tried the exercise games that are available too. But are you really exercising or are you just playing a game?

While it’s better to play a somewhat active video game rather than play one while sitting on the couch, recent studies show that the exercise games aren’t really capable of improving, or even maintaining, your current level of health and fitness.

A 2009 study by the American Council on Exercise looked at the Wii Fit games. By measuring the test participants’ heart rates, oxygen uptakes and ratings of perceived exertion, the study concluded that none of the available games were “sufficient enough to maintain or improve cardiovascular endurance as defined by the American College of Sports Medicine.”

In fact, the six games studied averaged calorie burning of only 4.2 calories per minute. That’s fewer calories burned than when golfing, playing ping-pong, walking at a moderate pace or riding a horse.


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