Video Games Stave Off The Freshman Fifteen

(Photo: Vidiot)

During my youth, I attempted to justify my excessive hours playing video games with the excuse that it was “improving my hand/eye coordination,” which turned out to be correct. With the popularity explosion of the Nintendo Wii and interactive games like Dance Dance Revolution, gamers are doing much more than improving coordination. A recent study indicates that it may keep the chub off your average college student:

J Am Coll Health. 2008 Mar-Apr;56(5):505-12.Click here to read Links
Energy expenditure during physically interactive video game playing in male college students with different playing experience.
Sell K, Lillie T, Taylor J.

Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY.

Objective: Researchers have yet to explore the effect of physically interactive video game playing on energy expenditure, despite its potential for meeting current minimal daily activity and energy expenditure recommendations. Participants and Methods: Nineteen male college students-12 experienced Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) players and 7 inexperienced players- completed maximal oxygen uptake assessments and a 30-minute DDR gaming session. The authors recorded heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), respiratory exchange rate (RER), oxygen consumption (VO2), and total steps (TS30). Results: Experienced participants showed higher exercise HR, RPE, RER, VO2, total and relative energy expenditure, exercise intensity, TS30, and average steps per minute, and less time and steps to expend 150 kilocalories (p < .05). Conclusions: Participants with greater playing experience can work at higher intensities, promoting greater energy expenditure.

Now if all of that time improving visual attention and shedding fat could be put toward a career of some sort…hmm.