Parents would greatly prefer if their children engaged in plenty of outdoor exercise. Unfortunately for some parents, their children actually lead almost completely sedentary lives. Those children are at a high risk for health complications, especially if a lack of exercise is combined with poor dietary choices.
Even if you are fortunate and have children who are physically active there are still reasons to moderate their activities during their time in front of the television. There are real skills which can be gained from interactive media, beneficial to boys and girls alike, which they simply will not gain from hours of passive television consumption.
Scientists at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center found that playing active video games like the Wii can be an effective substitute for moderate exercise. No one is saying children should stop playing outside or doing real exercise but active video games can be a suitable alternative at times. Basically, if an obese child is going to sit around and play video games instead of exercising, something is better than nothing.
Here are the detailed finding of the research:
- Children use similar amounts of energy playing Wii boxing, doing DDR at Level 2 and walking 2.6 mph. They burned about three times as many calories doing these activities as they did while watching television, about 3 calories a minute playing the games compared with 1 calorie a minute lounging in front of the TV.
- Kids used about two to 2½ times more energy playing Wii bowling and doing the beginner level of DDR as they did watching TV. They burned 2 to 2½ calories a minute during the activity.
- Boys used more energy than girls when playing DDR and bowling, but both boys and girls used about the same amount of energy walking and playing Wii boxing.
DDR2 is referring to the game Dance Dance Revolution 2. Boxing, tennis, and bowling are part of Wii Sports, the game that comes bundled with a new Wii. There are other fun fitness related games from Nintendo, such as Wii Sports Resort and the Wii Fit (which has games incorporating a unique balancing board).
Amazon.com has a special notice up:
Celebrate Sunday’s Wii Price Drop with Savings
If you are considering a Wii, you might like to know that the price of the Wii console will drop to just $199.99 starting at 12 AM PST, Sunday, September 27, 2009. Come back when it does and celebrate your purchase with surprise savings on some of our best games and accessories for Wii!
We recommend marking your calendar.
UPDATE: The notice is no longer up at Amazon, but the discounted price of $199.99 is still in effect.