Increasing body weight and declined fitness levels in children and adolescents can be attributed to the large amount of time spent playing video games, on computers and engaging on their smartphones instead of playing outdoors. But there is one way to get these kids who are hooked on technology the exercise they need and it is in the form of exergaming.
The term “exergame” officially become a thing in 2007 when it was added to the dictionary. Since then it has grown exponentially in popularity. So much so, that community recreation centers, YMCAs and other family-friendly fitness centers now offer exergaming stations. In fact, exergaming has also been added to many school physical education programs.
Exergames range from martial arts to baseball to dance-based games, but there are plenty of options available if you happen to be an adult who dislikes video games. Even the older generation who typically shuns modern technologies is getting into the action and are reaping the benefits.
To date, there have been dozens of studies on exergaming. But exergaming isn’t just being studied for its fitness and weight loss benefits, but also for the other benefits this form of exercise provides everyone from children to the elderly. For example, exergaming has been used for patients recovering from leg injuries, elderly patients to improve balance and decrease repetitive behaviors in children with autism. And there is plenty of evidence to suggest this trend of utilizing exergaming for other medical conditions will continue.
This research indicates that fitness games don’t deserve any of the bad reputations they may have.