‘Exergaming’ a viable fitness option

EXERGAMING – or using systems such as Nintendo Wii to exercise – is enjoyable for children and may be a viable alternative to traditional fitness activities, researchers say.

Thirty-nine boys and girls aged 9–13 years were recruited from after-school programs to participate in a study using six forms of exergaming, including PlayStation Dance Dance Revolution and Nintendo Wii. 

They spent two weeks getting familiar with the equipment and then spent 90 minutes twice a week rotating through various gaming systems while their energy expenditure was measured.

Exergaming compared favourably with walking on a treadmill at 4.8 kilometres per hour, with four out of six activities resulting in higher energy expenditure consistent with current physical activity recommendations for children, the researchers found.

In an editorial, a leading obesity researcher said a wide array of exergames on different video systems had