More than 83 percent of U.S. children age 8 to 18 have video game players in their bedrooms. At the same time, obesity rates continue to increase worldwide; sedentary activities such as seated game-playing may contribute.
The authors of the study looked at traditional seated games, as well as more active versions that simulate playing sports or moving through a city with more motion or floor pads. Testing was done with the XaviX J-Mat.
A team from the University of Hong Kong had children from ages 6 to 12 rest for 5 minutes, play a seated bowling game for 5 minutes, play an active bowling game for 5 minutes and then play an action game for five minutes.
The children burned 39 percent more calories playing a seated game than resting, nearly double the number of calories during the bowling game and more than 450 percent more during the action game.
The authors said that, based on typical calorie intakes, playing the active game for 35 minutes a day would help the average child maintain weight, rather than gaining.
Heart rates were also 20 beats per minute higher during the bowling game than rest, and 79 beats per minute higher during
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