A new study from LSU’s Pennington Biomedical Research Center shows video games that require physical activity can improve health in children with obesity. The study involved 46 children.
"We found that the kids who played these games actually lost weight and improved their cholesterol and blood pressure and increased their physical activity," said Amanda Staiano, the study's primary investigator.
The children received an Xbox 360, Kinect, and four fitness-themed games. They were asked to complete three one-hour gaming sessions each week and had access to a fitness coach. Staiano says after six months the children reduced their body mass index by about three-percent and reduced their cholesterol by seven percentiles.
"I expected that if they would do this physical activity using video games, that they would see the same health improvements and that's what we found."
Staiano says there is much to take away from the results of this study, but you’ve got to find out what grabs a child’s attention.
"So if the kid really enjoys playing video games or playing on their phone, what are some apps or games that they can play that'll actually promote health, promote physical activity," added Staiano.
The study was funded with two grants from the National Institute of Health.