Exergames: The answer to obesity

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The average US child and youth spend 5 hours a day in front of the screen. Whether televisions, video games, smart phone or computer they have become transfixed by the excitement and challenge of clicking, texting, messaging and explore the Internet just like their parents. The best estimate is that children and adolescents 6 to 17 years increase their weight by 2% for each hour of sitting in front of the screen.

Asking them to put down the remote and playing in his yard that we all did 20 or 30 years ago may unrealisitc day. It may be too hot, too cold or dangerous outside himself. Experts and parents need to wake up! What child or teen wants to go and kick a ball outside or ride his bike around the neighborhood when he can sit in air-conditioned family room and the role of the game Dragon Slayer or flying Star Ship and shoot down alien invaders with other online children worldwide!

Draw on the screen is just too overwhelming. After all, if adults need a booster smart phones, computers and televisions almost 24 hours a day, what can we expect our children? Go to any gym and you will see the TV screens all over the place, people working out with ear buds or do not get on the Internet screen built into the center console machines practice.

What these adults are doing, without admitting it to combine the excitement of the screen by moving the elliptical or treadmill and get fit at the same time and have fun. They have a name for this type of exercise :. Exergames, which are American response to the child and youth inactivity

Exergaming is a new screen, have fun, learn something and get fit –all at the same time.

92% of children have one or more video games in their homes. While video games may have contributed to a sedentary activity of our children, several new games can actually increase physical activity. Games like bowling, kick boxing, dancing, tennis and even played baseball on interactive mat with sensors in the arms can make a serious attack on the inactivity problem.

This group of games has been called “exergaming” -a combination of “training” and “gaming.” They use exercise-based interface to promote physical activity, fitness, and at the same time have fun. Typical video controller is set aside and all the controls on the screen comes from moving arms and legs.

These games began in early 2000 with dance, dance Revolution, Foot Craze and the Eye Toy from Playstation. It was the Nintendo Wii that really started the trend.

Scientists have found that exergames double or triple calories above walking and riding a bicycle. Burning 300 or 400 calories in 40 minutes is not unusual. Nintendo Wii bowling, tennis and baseball burn 280 to 300 calories, and Dance Dance Revolution can burn as many as 380 calories. Compare that with 100 to 150 calories by walking for 45 minutes and you have a great workout.

No significant differences in energy consumption on the basis of gender or age. Children develop self-esteem, feel more consistent and stronger, burn calories, and at the same time become healthier. In many families, even parents participate.

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