Exercise Video Games, Do They Work?

Saturday, April 16, 2011
Advances in interactive gaming and motion sensors are credited for the popularity of a rash of exercise video games known as the exergame phenomenon. No longer is indoor exercise limited to the treadmill, stationary bikes and repetitive videos. There are many exercise video games which track workouts, monitor vitals, and allow you to connect with friends at the online level.

Exercise games were first introduced as a way to get kids off the couch and start exercising. Later generations of exercise games were family orientated using long time favorite sports including tennis, golf and others, hoping to involve the entire family in video workouts . These were followed by the current wide selection of games of all genres for all ages. Exercise video games have also been found useful in rehab. facilities and nursing homes.

There are several video systems which are popular in motion gaming and incorporate the use of exercise games. The Nintendo Wii and Wii Fit first introduced us to the concept of getting a workout while playing a video game. It tracks your movements and range of motion as well as workouts, calories burned and vital stats. The Playstation Move system uses a camera based motion control system, whereas, the Wii uses the controller.

The Move has been reviewed to be more accurate than the Wii but also requires more game calibration. In the Wii you actually create an avatar called a Mii which represents an individual in all games, there's nothing like this in the Move system. All in all most agree the two gaming systems are pretty equal in terms of motion gaming, both having a few differences but not alot.

The Xbox 360 Kinect is controller free motion gaming in which there is a full body motion sensor. The Kinect is different than other motion gaming systems. It doesn't require the use of a controller and there's a fairly big game library. The down side to the Move is you have to stand while playing, the other systems can be played while sitting. The Kinect also requires more room to play the game fully, so for those on limited space this could be a disadvantage. The Kinect doesn't list specs. for tv size but the general consensus is the bigger tv it's played on the better.

Exercise video games do get results and work, but like anything, all in all, it's still exercise and must be routinely done to get long-term results. Exercise video games do provide some relief to the boredom of working out at home. The wide variety of games also make it an easier way to workout without having the feeling of doing the same routine each day.

Exercise video games provide an outlet for the entire family to workout together, no matter age or skill level. Used in rehab. and nursing facilities exercise video games enable stroke victims and older patients to increase their range of motion giving them a more fulfilling lifestyle. Exercise video games leveled the playing field of exercise between ages and skill levels and appealed to the mass market. The wide variety of games available also helped increase the popularity of exercise video games.

With advances in home gaming systems exercise video games have become very popular in the last few years, provided a fun, challenging workout at home. Exercise video games are used by people of all ages and skill levels. Home exercise equipment now includes gaming systems, video exercise games and accessories. The most popular gaming systems are the Nintendo Wii, Playstation Move and the Xbox 360 Kinect. Exercise video games do produce results in a fun, challenging format.


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