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Active Video Games Don't Make Kids Exercise More 304

redletterdave writes "Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, designed every kid's dream study: they passed out Wii consoles to 78 kids who didn't already have one, and gave half the kids their choice of active game — such as Wii Sports or Dance Dance Revolution-Hottest Party 3 — and the other half their choice of inactive game, such as Disney Sing-It Pop Hits or Super Mario Galaxy. The research team tracked the youngsters for 13 weeks, testing their physical activity levels with a motion-measuring accelerometer. Participants wore the devices on a belt during four different week-long periods throughout the study, which allowed the research team to determine when they were sedentary or lightly exercising and when they were engaged in moderate-to-vigorous exercise. Accelerometer logs showed that throughout the study period, kids with the active games didn't get any more exercise than those given inactive video games. There was also no difference in minutes spent doing light physical activity or being sedentary during any week the researchers monitored."
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Active Video Games Don't Make Kids Exercise More

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  • by mdarksbane ( 587589 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:07PM (#39173239)

    Study after study has shown the same thing with exercise at school.

    I wonder if the problem isn't so much that the average kid is being less active, as much as the current average diet is making those kids who *aren't* inclined to be active/have a high metabolism obese instead of just out of shape.

    • by jerpyro ( 926071 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:21PM (#39173417)

      As a parent of young children in a single-income household, honestly I see the next class division between those who can afford to feed their kids healthy foods and those who can't. I can see a difference in my kids' ambition and attention levels when we eat balanced, home cooked meals with vegetables and whole grains versus when they've had three days of "Pizza Night", "Cereal Night" and "Out to Eat Night".

      It's scary what a good diet can do for kids, and it's even scarier that the diet is out of reach for a majority of people in America.

      • by I'm just joshin ( 633449 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:36PM (#39173561)

        Bullshit. People who can't feed their family well for less than the price of a pizza ($10-$20) are full of it.

        Veggies are cheap, often under $1/lb.
        Rice is less than $0.25/lb
        Chicken Breasts can often be found for under $2.00/lb

        The above is the core of a great meal that costs less than $6, will feed 4 people, and can be made in 35 minutes with only around 15 minutes of kitchen time.
        (2lbs of chicken, 1 dry cup of rice, and 1lb of veggies)

        And instead of spending $3-$4 on a loaf of bread, bake your own loaf of light wheat bread for around $0.25. With a bread machine, the work is trivial and the bread is better than store bought.


        • by Unoriginal_Nickname ( 1248894 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:41PM (#39173631)

          Yeah. All for the opportunity cost of one of those parents being at home to cook three square meals a day.

          • by Rakishi ( 759894 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:47PM (#39173713)

            I know this new fangled world is still baffling for you, having evidently slept for the last few hundred years, but during your nap we've invented certain things. They include the refrigeration, which is like the ice box of your time but keeps things cold (or even frozen) year round with no need to fit it with expensive blocks of harvested ice. We have also invented the microwave which is like a fast heating oven without the heat, fire or time the later requires.

            I recommend you look into these fine inventions before commenting again.

          • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

            Yeah. All for the opportunity cost of one of those parents being at home to cook three square meals a day.

            If a school-aged child can't be trusted/doesn't have the ability to throw some vegetables in a pot of boiling water or in the microwave, and throw some chicken on a skillet, then there's a serious problem. I was cooking meals on my own by 6th grade. The only reason I didn't before that was I didn't have to. But I had the ability to.

            • by Moryath ( 553296 )

              You leave a 5th or 6th grade kid home alone using the gas range or electric range, and you watch CPS get called on you the first time they burn a finger and the teacher reports it.

              Then you answer to CPS as to why your kid was "unsupervised and allowed to work with dangerous cooking equipment."

              • by GospelHead821 ( 466923 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:33PM (#39174385)

                Maybe a lot has changed in the last 15 years but when I was in middle school and high school, cooking dinner a couple of nights every week was one of my chores. In fact, I can look back and cite that as the spark that ignited my passion for cooking and nutrition. It's a chore that a middle-school student can handle and will provide them with the foundation of the very skills that some posters are lamenting that many adults don't have.

                I did, in fact, get burned once. It wasn't a hot pot or pan but the toaster of all things. It had jammed and because I had left it unsupervised, it had caught fire. I panicked and touched it to get it out from underneath the cabinets. I called 911 and they walked me through safely extinguishing the toaster fire. There was a follow-up call about 15 minutes later to make sure everything was okay. But was there any action from CPS? As far as I know, not a whisper.

                One of my long-term goals is to become the Fred Rogers or the Bill Nye of food television. As with many things, I think that one of the keys to introducing good nutrition and an enthusiasm for preparing one's own food is to begin at an early age.

              • My kid has been cooking since she was 6. I've let her use knives to cut veggies and taught her how to slice meat. Cooking is a skill that is learned. Kids in other countries are using machetes at age 6 to chop wood and in some places they are hunting for food at that age. There is a reason people take the easy way out and don't cook. I've also met a lot of people that aren't capable of cooking. I guess those will be the first ones to go if society ever collapsed as they would no longer be able to eat.
            • by Belial6 ( 794905 )
              Yes, it is sad how retarded children are today. Even worse is that it is often illegal to raise your children correctly as the government often mandates retarding your child's development.
          • by metlin ( 258108 )

            That is the most ridiculous excuse I've heard. Who says you have to cook it all individually?

            You can cook breakfast and lunch in the morning, and cook dinners in the evening. Plus, if you've a single income household (re: OP), odds are, one of the parents is home.

            It really isn't that hard. You even get microwaveable veggies, and grill the meat. Half hour to an hour at most. Add some spices and you're good to go.

            Grab a drink of water or lemonade, and you've a pretty darn healthy meal. Hell, even if you only

          • by atfrase ( 879806 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:54PM (#39173821)

            Yeah. All for the opportunity cost of one of those parents being at home to cook three square meals a day.

            It is very, very important for people to read and understand the significance of this comment.

            Many folks from the "middle"-class on up simply don't understand what life is like for single parents, or even or dual parents who must work multiple jobs to pay the bills. Yes, raw food of the sort that can be prepared into healthy and nutritious meals is not (necessarily) inherently expensive; what puts it out of reach for many low-income folks is not the money but the TIME it takes to go to the grocery store, bring those foodstuffs home, and then prepare them.

            Single parents cannot leave their small children unattended that long, and bringing them along adds even more logistical overhead. There often isn't a single grocery store in low-income neighborhoods, requiring an even longer car trip, if the family can even afford a car; otherwise, an even longer bus ride, which also limits the trip to how much can be carried in two hands to, from and on the bus.

            Making a healthy diet accessible to low-income families is not an issue of price, it is an issue of availability and logistics, and those issues are NOT insignificant. People need to understand that, to avoid falling into the trap of thinking poor folks are just lazy -- they're not, most of them work harder than you do, I promise you. Unless you've actually been a low-income single parent, don't presume to understand what the challenges are.

            • You are correct those can be barriers/limitations, especially if you are not willing to adapt to those barriers/limitations. To my knowledge places like Schwan's still do home delivery of a multitude of fruits/vegetables, meats, and complete meals. And before you protest, Schwan's can be ordered online, by phone, or just by having a sales person stop by, and they deliver by truck, freezer bag, or UPS. Along those lines, most people can invest and should into not only a refrigerator but a small stand up f

              • But I also agree with something another poster said. Our public schools/society fail to teach us what should be considered basic life skills. No one should walk away from school not knowing basic homemaking (cooking and cleaning), budgeting (balancing a checkbook and living within your means), and basic mechanical skills (car care/maintenance, home care/maintenance). And these are lessons that should start early in education.

                This is one point where our school system really fails. Instead of teaching another year of US history to WWII, take that time and teach some mandatory life skills classes in the at least early high school.

              • by ediron2 ( 246908 )

                On what planet are you that Schwann's is a cheap way to feed a family?

            • "There often isn't a single grocery store in low-income neighborhoods" is exactly right. Detroit is a perfect example. There is something called an "urban desert" going on in Detroit. There are plenty of "shelf goods" stores. These stores have the grains and breads, cereals and noodles and plenty of canned veggies but you just try and find a store in Detroit that has more than a few bananas in their "produce" section. Aside from Eastern Market which is far from accessible for many Detroiters you'd be h
            • Yeah. All for the opportunity cost of one of those parents being at home to cook three square meals a day.

              It is very, very important for people to read and understand the significance of this comment.

              Many folks from the "middle"-class on up simply don't understand what life is like for single parents, or even or dual parents who must work multiple jobs to pay the bills.

              Your tale is as sad as it is true. The price of single parenthood or dual-(over)working parenthood is very high indeed (makes you wonder why so many are eager to have kids without any sort of stable 2 parent household). Aside from that, there is a big difference between "lazy" (perhaps defined by you as how many hours/week are spent performing labor for money) and "non industrious" which is an unwillingness to recognize the difference between something like eating right and exercising, and eating poorly a

              • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @03:26PM (#39175989)

                The price of single parenthood or dual-(over)working parenthood is very high indeed (makes you wonder why so many are eager to have kids without any sort of stable 2 parent household).

                It used to be considered a bad thing to have children outside of a stable two parent household. But nowadays we are much more enlightened and know that holding such opinions is horribly self-righteous and narrow-minded.

          • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:25PM (#39174255)

            Yeah. All for the opportunity cost of one of those parents being at home to cook three square meals a day.

            Learn to cook. That is just so wrong.

            Here's what I do. Make about 10 good meals at once on a weekend or whenever the cooking bug bites me. Shove in freezer. Thru the work week, remove from freezer and place in fridge in the morning, dump contents in frying pan, microwave, or whatever appropriate. Apply a bottled sauce from the fridge, or appropriate spices from spice rack, and eat in about 5 to 10 minutes. I can make healthy tasty prepared sorta gourmet frozen "real food" faster than I can heat up an icky expensive TV dinner.

            So, I seared the surface of small chunks of beef sirloin on a smoking hot stainless steel pan for flavor, enough to make 3 batches of stew, then deglazed with cheap whiskey, then rebagged about half a bag of freshly chopped cheap vegetables with about a third of the meat, freeze in bags or tupperware. Stock 3 little cans/boxes of soup stock (veg or beef) in the pantry. In the morning next week, whip out ye olde slow cooker, dump in one bag, pour soup stock over the top, plug in slow cooker and come home to fantastic stew.

            Take everything you need for a decent stir fry, bag and freeze. Next work night dump contents of bag into pan with a decent real oil, saute, dump from teriyaki sauce from a bottle in the fridge into the pan, and eat.

            I also take great joy in cooking about 10 pound of lasagna and freezing a zillion servings. I made this one with grilled strips of zucchini instead of pasta and it was unbelievable.

            Take plastic bag. Insert raw chicken parts. Parts is parts, right? Well chose whatever you like the most. Pour in a little marinade, some spices. Freeze for "awhile" maybe weeks. Come home from work, light gas grill on low, toss chicken parts on grill, flip occasionally while reading mail, surfing /. on the ipad, whatever. Serve with a spicy sauce from the fridge. You know what tastes good on chicken? Taco sauce. Weird but true. I never use barbeque sauce anymore since I discovered the miracle of taco sauce.

            I like to make this homemade breakfast hash outta all kinds of vegetables, fresh mushrooms, some breakfast sausages, some nuts, and a bit of diced potatoe, I can saute that and drop some maple syrup on it and eat it, and its the breakfast of the gods, and it takes me about 10 minutes from think about it to all done eating, actually quicker than driving to mcdonalds and waiting in line.

            You'd be amazed what you can do with frozen mystery meat philly cheesesteak product, breakfast sausages, the entire freaking produce aisle, etc.

            Take a nice slab of cod, drizzle some lime juice on it (not too much) some pepper, some spices, I like it hot, whatever floats your boat. Freeze it. Don't make one batch, make 4 batches so you can eat it once a week for a month without any prep time. During the week, you toss that stuff in the steamer appliance (like $25 at walmart) set the timer for about a half hour and go do laundry or take a dump or whatever else you do after work other than eat and sleep. Amazing steamed fish for like 5 minutes work during the week. Uses medium salsa out of a jar as a dressing instead of boring tartar sauce, because face it, fish is boring without a little heat and spice.

            Homemade kabobs freeze nicely and grill quickly. I like shrimp kabobs and dip them in salsa instead of that weird cocktail sauce. I have a "thing" for beef tenderloin kabobs with shitake mushrooms and bell pepper disks. To each their own, I guess.

            I also like mix ins. You know whats boring as heck? Pasta and sauce. You know whats yummy? Pasta and sauce, and sliced grilled hot italian sausages with a bunch of sliced (sliced and frozen by me) vegetables mixed into the sauce and some extra spices sprinkled on the top, at least parsley but a little oregano helps. And maybe some freshly grated cheese (much cheaper if you grate it yourself) This goes double for

          • We usually eat rice with each meal, we make one more bowl of rice than we will eat and it gets set aside for my daughters breakfast, in the morning she will take that rice and in less than 5 minutes whip herself up some fried rice using an egg, some soy sauce and whatever veggies she can get, usually napa or chinese cabbage, it's surprisingly good too. Her fried rice rivals our local Chinese take out.
          • Right, my wife and I working full time have NO IDEA of how to cook.

            Really, are you trolling or just the dumbest person alive?

        • Ingredients are cheap, but you have to cook them, which requires time. Oh and does a loaf of bread really cost $3-4 where you live? The last time I spent that much on a loaf of bread it was a focaccia with sun dried tomatoes and olives. A baked-in-store supermarket loaf costs about half that. I do bake my own bread, but mostly because it's nicer when it's cooked 10 minutes ago than when it's cooked that morning, not because it's cheaper. Given the current price of flour and electricity, I don't think m
        • by Rakishi ( 759894 )

          It's even easier than that. You cook in bulk once (or twice) a week, refrigerate/freeze and then microwave (or reheat on the stove) during the week.

        • by Belial6 ( 794905 )
          Around these parts, a pizza can always be purchased for $5, so you are already wrong. Rice and bread are terrible for you. If your going to eat them, you don't really have much room for complaining about pizza. When you stick to the healthy, meat and vegetables, your price goes up.

          You are comparing expensive fast food to cheap eating in.
          • by 0racle ( 667029 )

            Rice and bread are terrible for you.


            You're going to need to back that up. Throughout most human history and quite frankly most of the world now, people lived on basically just that.

            Difficulty: Gluten is not the devil.

        • Mmmm, chicken donburi, I'm coming to your house for dinner. Throw an egg in and I'm there.
        • I spend about 3 dollars a person to make healthy and delicious food for my family. It IS super cheap, but you know, I interact with $500,000 (probably a low estimate) worth of stuff that lots of people don't have, in order to make it.
          I have a comfortable house, functioning appliances, a full kitchen, a car, access to a grocery store, time to drive there weekly so I can keep fresh produce, internet access to find new and interesting things to cook, the correct pots, pans, knives, cutting boards, implements
        • If you want an even easier and faster bread recipe and you have a can of beer:

          Beer bread:
          3C self-rising flour*
          1 can (355mL) beer
          3T sugar

          *or 3 c flour, 3T baking powder, 3t salt

          Mix. Put in pan or in a ball. Put in 350F oven for 45 minutes.

          No rising time. Just bread.

      • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:36PM (#39173567)
        Go to any grocery store, and you can get packs of frozen vegetables for $1, and often times even less than that. While they are certainly not as healthy as fresh vegetables, they are still healthier and easily affordable, even on a minimum wage income. They are still far cheaper and healthier than pizza or going to a fast food joint, and they cook up in minutes. Combine that with a pack of $1.99 per lb of chicken, and you can feed a family of 4 for $5-6. Go to McDonalds, and 1 combo meal will cost more than that. A healthy diet is not out of reach for most of America. The problem is that most of America simply DOES NOT WANT IT. Just like with making sure your kid gets a good education, or has a good home life, it requires effort. Many people these days just don't want to have to make any effort.
      • by Sancho ( 17056 ) *

        I'm interested in the raw numbers for the meals you're quoting. Eating out is frankly pretty expensive, and a report I read showed that home-cooked, healthy meals tended to be cheaper but far more time-consuming.

        Thus, the assertion of being unable to afford healthy food could be accurate for a family where the caregivers are working a combined 140 hours per week or something. For single-income households (with two parents) there's almost no reason to not choose the cheaper, healthier, time-consuming option

      • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:50PM (#39173751) Journal

        Sorry, don't believe you. The cheapest meals I eat each week are the ones I cook myself from fresh ingredients. The more expensive nights are the ones where I treat myself to a pre-prepared meal or a takeaway.

        Fresh-cooked food takes longer to prepare and has a higher effort-barrier and, common pieties aside, unless you are a seriously good cook it may not actually taste as nice as the pre-processed stuff - but unless you're insisting on only buying organic and other daft middle-class obsessions, it's pretty much always cheaper.

      • by mdarksbane ( 587589 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @01:00PM (#39173927)

        I think the class division is already there, between those who have the acquired knowledge and prioritization to provide healthy meals on a limited budget, and those who do not.

        It is definitely more *complicated*, but it does not require significantly more time or expense.

        Today, I can throw together any of several dozen meals that will be cheaper and healthier than frozen or prepared foods, and only take an extra 10 minutes of prep. If I had tried the same thing ten years ago I would have been limited to ramen and mac & cheese.

        It used to be that girls studied home economics and cooking, so that someone in the family would know how to handle these things. I'm glad women have other and more options now, but we need to do *something* to fill that knowledge gap.

        • I'd say give all kids some form of Home Ec, and have it include basic repairs around the home as well as cooking.
      • by Belial6 ( 794905 )
        While I agree that diet will certainly effect your ability to think, and general energy levels, I am not convinced that things will play out like you think. What kids (and adults) are currently being taught are 'healthy' foods are so far out of whack that I don't see the wealthy coming out dramatically ahead.

        Your list is a good example. Yes, Pizza and Cereal are terrible for you, but the idea that somehow your food being cooked in your own home magically makes it healthier than if it is cooked in a res
        • Short of cooking up cinnamon rolls every day for breakfast and frying bologna in Crisco for lunch, then melting velveeta with bacon over nachos for dinner every single day. I'm pretty sure you would have to work pretty damn hard to match the fat/carb/calorie content per ounce of food at home as you get with chicken mcnuggets or cereal or pizza.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Tharsman ( 1364603 )

        Fast food is extremely expensive. It's way cheaper to buy raw meats, vegetables and fruit. Grass feed beef and antibiotic free chicken, plus organic fruits and vegies are ideal and are on the expensive side, but going for the regular store stuff is still WAY healthier than fast food and also much more affordable.

        Grains and complex carbs are all very unhealthy. A proper healthy diet should only consist of fruit, vegetables and meats (there is a LOT of room to do good cooking there, you can do many sauces and

      • I see the next class division between those who can afford to feed their kids healthy foods and those who can't

        Funny I see the opposite. It is actually more expensive eating out or eating unhealthy when you have a teenager vs eating healthy. We eat assorted meats and fresh veggies every night for far less than eating out every night.

      • OMG this is "informative" insofar as it informs the rest of us how sad life is for so many Americans... Cooking enough vegetables and whole grains for a small family is NOT out of reach to all but perhaps a very very small (and unfortunate) subset of our society. I admit, calories are generally cheaper to buy when they are of poorer quality (i.e. a 1000 calorie take-out pizza is probably cheaper than 1000 calories worth of long grain rice) but to say that you can't just get by on 500 calories of long grai

    • I'm wondering if the problem isn't that we need to make kids exercise more, but that kids will exercise the same amount no matter what you do. We have many studies showing that we can't make kids exercise more, but we keep trying. It seems insane to me.

      Instead of trying to control something that studies show is uncontrollable, we should control what we can. I would think we should make the exercise they do at school and at home as fun as possible so it's a positive experience in their minds and then teac
    • Well normally people with a Low Metabolism are the ones who tend to be more overweight as their body doesn't burn calories as quickly.

      But people with a Low Metabolism tend to be less active in general. I knew a girl with a very High Motabolism, she needed to eat all the time if she didn't or skipped a snack she would be in pain. And she was quite thin, while myself I have to watch everything I eat if I eat too much I will gain weight.

      But also this girl would be far more hyper then I would be. Almost everyt
  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:09PM (#39173263)

    i had a wii and even with the balance board the exercise quality was so so. and its easy to cheat with the controller

    kinect is a lot better in making you actually move and there is no way to cheap since the software is looking for specific body positions not just movement of the controller

    • What kind of person Cheats at Wii Fit?
    • This is my impression as well. Even if you don't try to cheat, the Wii controller just isn't all that much of an exercise (at most, it involves moving your arms around a bit), while even relatively sedentary Kinect games require you to be at least standing and usually involves moving your whole body, if only to make sure the sensor actually detects the motion. And the more active Kinect games are a huge workout.

      Of course, I'll take my keyboard and mouse or joystick (or hell, even a controller in a few games

    • I have both - and use both as part of my daily exercise routine. The both have their pros and cons. The balance board does have an awful lot of limitations, but it has one great benefit; a few routines you can do while the TV is tuned to another input (with occasional voice guidance via the Wiimote).

      My daily routine now is 20 minutes or so of fairly vigorous stuff in Your Shape 2012 on the Kinect, followed by 20 minutes of either free jogging or free step on the Wii; just long enough to watch an episode fro

      • Well, for every person like you who lost 78 pounds by playing exercise games, there's another person who gained 78 pounds playing exercise games.

        Sorry, that was sarcastic. l, too, have lost weight (40 lbs) by playing exercise games (DDR in my case). Clearly, if you want to lose weight, these games can work, and make the weight loss much easier than just a boring treadmill. When I was playing DDR regularly, I was exercising 5x to 10x more than I had before buying the game.

        The study is interesting, but it

  • by ZombieBraintrust ( 1685608 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:11PM (#39173295)
    Kids left to themselves won't change their behavior. Parenting means more than buying your kid a toy and hoping for the best. News at 11.
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      True, but you'd think that if you gave them a basket ball they'd spent more time playing basket ball and if you gave them a guitar they'd spend more time sitting still playing the guitar. Assuming it's something they would do at all of course, but kids often do what they're given the opportunity to do. Of course that's not all parenting is about, but I'm surprised to see no effect at all.

    • Force your kid to go for a run with you. If the kid moans, offer a bribe of a stupid Wii video game AFTER (s)he run 20 minutes with you. Put yourselves on the "couch-to-5k" program (http://www.c25k.com/) if you're running-challenged yourself. Grab a couple of tennis rackets, a basketball, take your kid to the playground or the gym and do it WITH them, however goofy you feel you are.

      In general, kids take from parents. Couch potato parent = couch potato kid.

      While we were living in Canada, the government sent

  • by filmorris ( 2466940 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:13PM (#39173313)
    I remember, once upon a time, when there was a thing called "outside". Kids didn't need videogames to exercise, as they did actual exercise. Seriously, thinking videogames=exercise is so dumb it should be illegal.
    • A couple things not directly related to video games caused the decline of outside. One is the decline of pedestrian-friendly urban design. Suburban sprawl makes it difficult for children to find playmates in a like age group and for them to find a place in which to play. Another is public hysteria about child molesters who lurk in public play areas.
      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        Not to mention a general hysteria of children getting hurt. True, the child mortality rates have gone down somewhat too but in return it sounds like nature is too dangerous with those hard rocks and pointy branches and tall trees. The "kid safe" play areas are often very cramped that you could run around it in a minute or two while not being very challenging and repetitive. If you want real activity then hiking/biking/camping/skiing/swimming/something out in nature where you have larger areas is almost a mu

    • by na1led ( 1030470 )
      Yea, instead of playing Tennis on the TV, go play Tennis outside. There is no substitute for the real thing.
      • by tycoex ( 1832784 )

        Right, because it's just as easy for a parent to drive to the nearest tennis court (which may be fairly far away if you aren't rich) and stay at the tennis court for an hour and then drive back, every day, as it is to buy wii sports.

    • by Nidi62 ( 1525137 )

      I remember, once upon a time, when there was a thing called "outside". Kids didn't need videogames to exercise, as they did actual exercise. Seriously, thinking videogames=exercise is so dumb it should be illegal.

      I remember back in my middle teens, there was this restaraunt we would go to that had a few arcade games. One of them was a shooting game where you had to control your character by moving. You had to crouch to crouch, lean right to lean/move right, etc. After playing it for about 10-15 minutes, I was soaked in sweat and my legs were starting to wear down/cramp up. It was easily one of the best and most entertaining leg workouts I've ever had. And I wasn't the kind of person that just sat around all day

  • by na1led ( 1030470 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:17PM (#39173353)
    If your goal is to beat the next level in the game, then you don't expect much exercise. My kids play the Wii because their bored, and they just want to play a game. My wife uses the Wii to exercise and gets a good workout from it. It all depends on your mind set and what you expect to get from these games.
  • Slightly off topic, but very closely related, does anyone have stats on what results in more activity, structured scheduled programmed events or free time?

    My gut level guess is free time results in much higher activity levels than structured events. Building a snow fort is exhausting compared to warming a bench at a sport. Etc.

    It Might be that enforced structured scheduled wii play (OK governor katy pery song on just dance 3 will commence from precisely 1012 to 1015, after which the next scheduled song, l

    • I would ignore your gut level guess. Your youth sounds very different from mine. I spent most of my youth in my own head not doing much physical activity unless prompted to do so. Go to a playground and you will se a couple fat kids standing around not doing anything. Some people when given a choice will choose to conserve energy.
    • by na1led ( 1030470 )
      The social structure of our society today is creating Fat Lazy kids. Parents are too worried about letting their kids go play outside unsupervised, and their are too many rules and regulations that keep kids from having fun. When I was a kid, I rode my Bike all over the place and my parents never worried about it unless I came home late. Today, everyone is living under fear.
  • by Issarlk ( 1429361 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:19PM (#39173375)
    How about putting the accelerometers at the end of the kids' limbs instead ?
    • by Zondar ( 32904 )

      I thought the exact same thing. I remember playing one of those boxing simulators in an arcade several years back, one with motion tracking and real gloves you wore. I can guarantee that game burned more calories than any other game there, but the researcher's methodology (putting accelerometers on the belt) wouldn't have measured that either.

      • You're thinking of Mocap Boxing [arcade-museum.com], which when played properly is an exhausting game. It becomes increasingly difficult to actually play the game properly at higher levels though. There are spots where you have to throw 50 punches in a row, in a short time period. I had to settle into a wrist flick that it accepted as a punch to make through those. Even with that small cheat, I still found how far I got in the game was determined by my physical conditioning.

        I once watched a pre-teen boy play the game and d

    • Attach rope (or use inevitable safety strap), swing it around. If a kid wants to be lazy, they will.

  • by cheekyjohnson ( 1873388 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:22PM (#39173425)

    But they sure do excel at transforming them into cold-blooded murderers.

  • by XxtraLarGe ( 551297 ) on Monday February 27, 2012 @12:29PM (#39173487) Journal
    Will the PlayStation Move Sharpshooter [ign.com] make me a better shot?
  • We all knew this, our parents have been telling us this since we were kids.

    • I have played video games most of my life and I have six pack abs and only nine percent body fat. I also exercise one hour per day. The two activities aren't mutually exclusive.
  • My 6yro is a wildman when it comes to most of the Wii "active games" he gets pretty excited and jogs in place and is constantly moving - he gets fairly sweaty doing it, tho he is probably an exception to the rule.

    When I was in school we had a lot of phys ed - everyday in grade school, 3 days a week in middle school, and high school. Now I think my kid gets 2 days of gym a week. Sure there is recess, but its in 15 minute spurts, or a 30 minute lunch where half the time is spent eating his lunch.
  • Can someone with access to the full article tell us whether or not the researchers assessed that the consoles were actually installed, and that the parents allowed the children to use them? I know if I showed up at home with some random game console my mother would have said, your father will have to install it, and when Dad got home he would have wanted to have dinner and watch TV all evening. If there's only one TV, the kids are going to lose out on using it.

    Yes, I know that these are elementary schoolers

Disks travel in packs.