Can you lose weight by playing video games?

Generally video games are lumped into the category of things that cause weight gain and obesity. Along with television and computer usage, video games are considered a negative aspect of modern life when used in exccess. They take children and adults away from physical activity and keep them glued to a screen for hours. The loss of exercise that once was a major part of American lifestyles has led to the growing obesity problem. Video games have generally been part of the problem. But can they also be part of the solution?

Some think video games can be exactly that: the solution to the obesity epidemic. One of the newest fitness ideas is using video games with movement. While it previously may have seemed improabable to combine the ideas of video games and exercise, the new video games from Nintendo have bridged that gap. Video games like Wii Sports now require physical activity and help encourage a more active lifestyle.

Some people have even gone so far as to test these video games for weight loss potential. One gaming blogger did a comphrehensive experiment using the Nintendo Wii and Wii Sports. For six weeks he used his Wii Sports without changing his eating habits at all. After a month and a half of playing each of the sports very aggressively, he dropped 9 pounds and dropped his body fat percentage from 19% to 17.2%. At the end he made the conclusions that you get back whatever you put into something, meaning you will lose more weight if you use the system more aggressively and often. Also he concluded that video games are a great way to exercise without even realizing you are burning calories.

There are even independent studies from California State University, West Virginia University, and Liverpool John Moores University (read about the studies, here and here) that conclude the Wii is a great workout and kids burn 40% more calories. The studies concluded that the activity associated with the game can impact the child’s hearrate, energy expenditure, and calories burned.

If you are looking for a fun, easy way to exercise you might want to buy a Nintendo Wii and try Wii Sports. It is a great way to start exercising if you are a beginner and a fun way to crosstrain if you already live an active lifestyle.

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