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Study gauges seniors’ calorie burn playing active video games

The Medical News Today summarized the findings that Elizabeth Orsega-Smith, Ph.D., presented at The American College of Medicine’s 57th Annual Meeting in Baltimore, which found that playing Nintendo’s Wii could help healthy, overweight seniors burn calories. Her research team placed ACTICAL accelerometers on the wrists of 24 participants with a body mass index of 26 to 39, and measured caloric expenditure during 30-minute bouts of Wii baseball, tennis and team and individual bowling. The participants, ranged in age from 66 to 78, burned significantly more calories (20-176 calories) playing individual bowling compared with team bowling (18-89 calories). Those playing baseball burned from 22 to 144 calories, while tennis resulted in 17-72 calories expended. Orsega-Smith noted that playing games such as Wii generally burns fewer calories than playing the real-life game or sport, but they offer an option for those who face challenges to becoming physically active.

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Funding Information

© 2013. NMSU Board of Regents. All rights reserved. This project was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture through the National Research Initiative (Grant #2008-55215-18837).

About Us

The Exergames Unlocked project includes a multi-state team of accomplished media education researchers, exercise physiologists, medical professionals and doctoral students. Contributing members are researchers in their fields and have helped launch the use of exergames as tools to combat obesity in their communities and beyond. New Mexico State University researchers and their partners have been funded to research the impact of exergames, develop specific recommendations for exergame use, and implement exergaming programs. As part of that project, this website provides access to resources based on research, sample projects, and input from the exergaming community. For more information, contact the project director: Dr. Barbara Chamberlin, Professor, New Mexico State University Cooperative Extension Service
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Why Exergames Unlocked?

Why Exergames Unlocked? Exergames are videogames that encourage physical activity. Here, you’ll find the best and most effective exergames, as well as strategies and recommendations on using them with different audiences and in different locations.