Channel 5

Active video games offer children no “public health benefit” says study

The Gadget Show  Wednesday 07 March 2012

Active video games offer children no “public health benefit” says study

The increase in motion-controlled video games that came with the current generation of consoles has transformed the way many of us play. Some would say that we’re now more active, healthy gamers as a result. But not everyone feels the same. A study has revealed that active games are no more healthy than inactive games. Are virtual exercisers wasting their time?

In an attempt to discover the health benefits of playing such games researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston gathered two groups of children, and kitted them with special belts to monitor their physical activity during a 12-week activity.

One group was given inactive games, while the other was given exercise-related titles such as Nintendo’s Wii Fit Plus and EA’s EA Sports Active. As encouragement the children were promised a free Nintendo Wii. It made little difference.

The results of the study claim: “There was no evidence that children receiving the active video games were more active in general, or at anytime, than children receiving the inactive video games.

“These results provide no reason to believe that simply acquiring an active video game under naturalistic circumstances provides a public health benefit to children.”

Researcher Tom Baranowski told Reuters: “We expected that playing the video games would in fact lead to a substantial increase in physical activity in the children. Frankly we were shocked by the complete lack of difference.”

However Jacob Barkley, an exercise scientist from Kent State University does believe that over the course of a year, playing active games could be more beneficial in the long term, that physical activity as an alternative to being active will always have a positive impact on health.

“Maybe the Wii isn’t going to increase physical activity a whole heck of a lot,” Barkley told Reuters Health. “But it might increase caloric expenditure a little bit more than a traditional sedentary video game, and if you do that on a daily basis that could have a cumulative effect that might be beneficial.” What do we reckon, gadget fans? Do you disagree? Do you know anyone who’s health has benefited from playing such games? Let us know.


gaming, case study, health, exercise, gadgets

User comments (2)

Leave a comment

Nick adams

Its not all about that, itsfeeling more involved in gameplay too.

Report as inappropriate
cialis professional online

Impotent gents under no circumstances had it so excellent. Viagra pioneered the oral treatment method for Male Impotence. Along with the baton, it seems, is transferred to Cialis. Between, Levitra also built its existence felt. But Cialis is the long term drug that has the globe on its toes.

Report as inappropriate

Join Channel 5

Creating an account is free, will only take a few moments and will allow you to enjoy the full benefits of 5FWD and Channel 5:

  • Create lists of your most wanted and owned products
  • Leave article comments without having to re-enter your login details
  • Get updated with all the latest gadget and car news

Leave a comment

Please note that we will not expose your email, but we might use it to email you back. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.
* mandatory field

Jason Bradbury

Jason has been on The Gadget Show since day one. Before he joined us, he could be seen popping up on The Big Breakfast, hosting The Web Review for ...


Rachel Riley

Rachel made her television debut in 2009 when she took over from Carol Vorderman as the numbers expert on Countdown. Rachel studied maths at Oxford...


Jon Bentley

Jon Bentley returns as The Gadget Show’s chief gadget tester, completing the show’s strongest line up ever.


Ortis Deley

Ortis has been obsessed with all things gadget-esque since he was a kid as well as being a massive sci-fi movie fan, and describes being back in pr...


The Gadget Show tests the latest gadgets and technology and tells you, the viewers exactly what kit to buy. We also value your comments and feedback.

For Gadget Show website queries email the studio

For any other enquiries or complaints – email our customer services department