Space & Innovation

Do Video Games Really Count As Exercise?

Can walking around catching Pokémon really be considered exercise? What about different consoles? Can you plug one in and skip the gym?

The Centers for Disease Control recommend at least 75 minutes per week of "vigorous-intensity aerobic activity" to maintain a healthy lifestyle. For those of us who come up about 73 minutes short of that goal, week-to-week, maybe we can get some help from video games?

Yeah, not so much. Several studies have been published over the years that attempt to quantify the benefits of games that require some kind of physical activity. For instance, remember the Pokemon GO craze from last year? Research published in The British Medical Journal found that Pokemon players got a little extra exercise from chasing augmented reality beasties, but not enough to be statistically significant. There is one console game genre, though, that definitely provides a decent workout.
Trace Dominguez has the details in today's DNews report.

Read More:

The BMJ: Gotta catch'em all! Pokémon GO and physical activity among young adults: difference in differences study

New York Magazine: How Many Steps a Day Should You Really Walk?

Journal of Diabetes Science And Technology: Using Avatars to Model Weight Loss Behaviors: Participant Attitudes and Technology Development