Well THIS is a surprise!..
Mom, Dad – how many times this summer have you encouraged your children and their friends to “shut off the video games and go outside and play?”. While there IS definite benefit to enjoying the outdoors during summertime…and nothing should ever, ever change that…this study throws a few wrenches into the plan. So much, in fact, you might want to hide these findings from those lil’ gamers..
Louisiana State University researchers looked at 46 kids, ages 10 to 12. Half of them were told to play one of four games for an hour a day for three days a week. The other half were told to go about their regular summer routine (i.e., “go outside”). All participants had to wear a stepometer to track their steps taken daily.
Of the children in the gaming group, 22 finished the six-month program and 94% of the gaming sessions were completed, and the group REDUCED their body mass index by three percent on average. The children the other group?….they actually INCREASED their body mass index by an average of one percent!
Now – here’s the catch….
The ‘gaming’ group were instructed to choose one of four games, all of them requiring move or dance. The games were played on an Xbox 360, and included ‘Just Dance 3’ and ‘Kinect Sports Seasons 2′. No word what the group outside was doing – hopefully SOME kind of exercise, and no…not chasing an ice cream truck.
Long story short? If your kids ARE going to play video games, try and includes ones that require physical activity. And limit their time, ’cause there IS a lot of fun to be had outside this summer….the season doesn’t last forever! 🙂 ~ Jason