Healthbeat

Can video games replace traditional workouts?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

(AP Photo)

Many people have video gaming systems like the Wii and Xbox Kinect on their holiday wish lists. But, can video games take the place of traditional exercise?

A new study says maybe.

Researchers at Michigan State University looked at the results of 16 different studies to determine if active video games could provide the same cardiovascular benefits as a traditional workout. They found video gaming systems like the Wii, Xbox Kinect and Playstation Move are good to get people moving, but they don't really pack enough of a cardio wallop to replace regular exercise.

That's because most games require light-to-moderate energy usage. Experts recommend moderate-to-vigorous activity for the best health benefit.

Researchers say the games are best for senior citizens or those who cannot maintain a high energy output.

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