New Study Shows Interactive Gaming Does Not Make Kids More Active

It is an undeniable fact that virtual reality based home gaming consoles are helping gamers to get up and move. However, the belief that interactive gaming helps kids to be more active has been proven to be largely a myth. The real problem isn’t with interactive arcade game machines themselves. Unfortunately, when these games are compared to the amount of calories burned from running, bike riding or playing baseball, interactive gaming always falls short. Studies have shown that there is simply no substitute for old fashioned exercise.

Some games that require intensive and sustained physical activities do actually provide users with a good workout. A working adult with a busy schedule could easily benefit from an hour or two a week of playing virtual arcade game machines, but growing children need much more stimulation. No form of video gaming can replace outdoor play. Even when it comes to social interactions, video gaming is inferior to standard play. Players tend to be distracted and unaware of their surroundings, which does not facilitate the improvement or development of normal social skills amongst kids or adults.

Since almost every kid wants to own a home gaming console, parents have unwittingly convinced themselves that interactive video games aren’t so bad. And they aren’t exactly wrong for feeling the way that they do. For instance, Nintendo heavily marketed the Wii using both the elderly and children in their advertisements. This didn’t just show that the Nintendo Wii could benefit users physically, it also showcased the console as a user-friendly device. Parents could simply purchase the device, an accompanying game and have no worries about having a negative impact on their children.

Kids don’t have to go without video games altogether, but adults would be best served to limit their use. On another note, gaming consoles are usually located in the living, family or recreation room, which is also usually close in proximity to the refrigerator. This can inadvertently cause gaming fans, particularly children, to consume more calories than are actually needed throughout the day. Interactive games have their place, but children should not depend on them in order to get exercise consistently.