Playing video games too much can be bad for your health, or can they? A new study shows how they might help.
Generations of teens have had parents complain about the time that they spend playing video games. “Get off that couch and get some exercise!” A new study shows that playing some video games can actually be good for your health. Researchers looked at a class of video games called “exergames” that require the player to be physically active in order to interact with the game. Think of dance competition or tennis games on the screen. The researchers enlisted two groups of Type 1 diabetics. The control group ran on a treadmill for 30 minutes twice a week. The experimental group played video exergames. The study showed that playing the video games was just as effective in terms of lowering blood sugar levels. The big difference was that the gamers reported that they had much more fun than those pounding out the miles on a treadmill. The exergames group had better motivation and were more consistent in sticking with the program. Building games into other fitness and treatment programs could lead to better outcomes.