Scientists and other medical professionals are now considering active video games as an acceptable form of exercise, according to a November 16th 2009 report by HealthDay News. A recent study performed by the National Institute of Health and Nutrition in Tokyo, found that active video games expend energy at the rate similar to moderate to intense physical exercise.
Japanese researchers studied the METs (metabolic equivalent values), which is a method for measuring energy expenditure, of 12 people aged 25 to 44. These dozen individuals played various Wii sports games and fitness games. The study was sponsored by Nintendo which is the manufacturer of Wii.
The study looked at nearly 50 different activities from these video games and measured the METs of the dozen participants. 9 of the activities had less than 2 METs, 23 activities had two to three METs, nine activities had three to four METs and five activities had more than 4 METs.
Moderate intense exercises have METs in the range of three to six METs with vigorous exercise above sixe METs and light exercise below three METs according to the American Heart Association. The average adult produces about 3 METs when walking on a flat surfaced treadmill at the pace of 3 miles per hour.
Wii’s fitness video games can help children become more active and prevent certain physical conditions like obesity. Additionally, adults may use these game as an option for exercising but should not exclude other forms of physical activity like walking, running, cycling, stretching and weight training.