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Videogame exercise can help overweight and obese teenagers lose weight

The Georgetown University News reported online how videogame exercise can help overweight and obese teenagers lose weight. Drs. Amanda Staiano, Sandra Calvert and Anisha Abraham have published the first study demonstrating weight loss from video games that require physical activity. Their study is published online in the journal Obesity.

With a research grant supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio through its national program, Health Games Research, the researchers examined whether a 20-week exergame intervention could produce weight loss and improve psychosocial outcomes for overweight and obese African-American adolescents.

The authors found that when played cooperatively, exergames can help combat obesity because those who  played in teams lost on average 5.5 pounds compared to the control group, whose members actually gained weight during the intervention. Participants who played the exergame competitively stayed at about the same weight they were when the study began.

Cooperative exergame players also significantly increased their confidence in completing goals as compared to the control group, and both exergame conditions significantly increased peer support more than the control group.

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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.