UT Study: Some Video Games May Not Be So Bad For Kids

Knoxville (WDEF) – The critics often blame video gaming for kids who don’t get outside and play.

But a study at the University of Tennessee finds that some games can actually help.

They looked at children from five to eight years old.

"Our study shows video games which wholly engage a child’s body can be a source of physical activity," said Hollie Raynor, director of UT’s Healthy Eating and Activity Laboratory and associate professor of nutrition.

"Previous studies investigating active video games had not investigated the energy expenditure of these games as compared to unstructured outdoor play. The purpose of the study was to compare energy expenditure to unstructured outdoor play.”

Researchers gave the kids accelerometers for their hips and on each wrist.

And then they were sent to the playground, and played the Kinect Adventures River Rush.

They found the kids got more of a workout during the active video game than they did on the playground.

"The strengths of the UT study include the use of two measurement tools considered to be very accurate at measuring activity," said Raynor. "No one else has used measures with this degree of accuracy in comparing active video gaming with outdoor play in young children. We’re not saying video games should replace outdoor play, but there are better choices people can make when choosing the types of video games for their children.”

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that children participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity each day.

This is the game that researchers used.

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