Gone Are The Days of Sedentary Gaming: Modern Consoles Encourage Physical Activity
It’s no news that gaming has been making big waves in recent years, especially with the advent of more advanced technology. What may be new to some people is the way that technology is paving the way for physically engaging gameplay. This revolution, known as exergaming or active video gaming has garnered increasing attention from researchers and gamers alike. According to a recent study from the University of Georgia, exergaming may be the key to getting people off the couch and be more active, providing a perfect introduction to exercise for those who are less inclined towards traditional forms of physical activity.
The advent of exergaming options on popular consoles like Nintendo and Xbox has opened up a world of possibilities for combining entertainment with exercise. But it doesn’t stop there. Thanks to VR and AR technology even other realms of gaming, like online gambling, are upping the ante. It’s no longer about CA casinos where you can win real money, you can even get a proper workout with the thousands of game titles available.
Details About The Study
The study conducted by the University of Georgia, published in the International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, involved 55 participants who typically spend less time engaging in physical exercise than the recommended 150 minutes weekly. These participants were divided into two groups, one engaging in typical aerobics classes, and the other exploring various exergames.
The study assessed physical activity and exertion using monitors to measure heart rate and acceleration along with a scale to gauge participants’ perceived effort. Moreover, the study measured the enjoyment and motivation levels during the workouts.
Key Study Findings
The key findings of the study shed light on the advantages of exergaming over traditional exercise. Participants reported higher satisfaction levels and a stronger sense of autonomy over their exercise practice, motivating them to explore other forms of activities in the long-term. Furthermore, active video gaming has shown positive effects on children’s physical activity levels, making it an easy and engaging way for caregivers to help kids in being more active. Beyond fun and games, exergaming has demonstrated similar physiological benefits as traditional cardio exercises, as well as the potential in assisting individuals with Type 1 diabetes. Let us go into each of these benefits in more depth.
Increased Satisfaction And A Stronger Sense Of Autonomy
The study showed that exergamers felt increased satisfaction and a stronger sense of autonomy over their exercise regimen. Feeling a sense of autonomy over one’s daily physical activity tends to lead individuals to freely incorporate exercise into their daily routine, as they feel ownership and a personal connection to the activity. This sense of enjoyment and ownership is crucial in motivating individuals to maintain their exercise practice and potentially explore other forms of physical activity in the long-term.
A Gateway To Long-term Increased Physical Activity
Practicing traditional forms of exercise, such as weightlifting or running is simply not everyone’s piece of cake. But video gaming might be an activity that more people would be open to, given that it is much more fun.
According to Yongju Hwang, co-author of the study and a doctoral student specializing in kinesiology, the pure enjoyment that play brings with it might encourage people to give physical activity a shot without feeling that sense of pressure or boredom that some traditional workouts might be associated with.
Interestingly, participants assigned typical aerobics classes demonstrated higher levels of effort during workouts, driven by the support of the group that encourages maximum performance and attendance. However, exergamers expressed a more positive experience, and their enjoyment of the activity increased their chances of taking up this activity for the long-term.
This indicates that exergaming could serve as a gateway to increased physical activity for those who may not be naturally drawn to traditional exercise methods.
Positive Effects On Children
Exergaming has shown positive effects on physical activity levels in children, paving the way for caregivers to promote exercise in a way that is fun and engaging. Yli-Piipari encourages caregivers to buy children games that involve some kind of activity because the interactive experience won’t feel like exercise, so children might very well continue being active even when unsupervised.
Similar Positive Health Benefits As Traditional Cardio
Exergaming has demonstrated similar physiological benefits as traditional cardio exercises. The study gauged the cardiovascular effects of active video gaming, comparing them to treadmill exercising. The results indicate that exergaming produces comparable effects on blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen consumption efficiency as well as endothelial function (involved in maintaining blood fluidity).
Notably, participants found exergaming more motivating and enjoyable due to the gamified elements such as earning badges, scoring points, and striving for improvement over time.
Beneficial For Persons With Type 1 Diabetes
Exergaming has also shown potential in assisting individuals with Type 1 diabetes. In comparison to traditional physical activities, exergaming was found to be more enjoyable for diabetic patients, increasing their adherence to exercise routines. This could be a significant step towards managing this lifelong condition more effectively.
While exergaming may not entirely replace traditional exercise, it serves as a valuable tool in encouraging individuals to be more physically active. By combining entertainment with physical activity, exergaming offers an accessible and enjoyable option for a wide range of people, including those who may have been disinterested in exercise.
As the gaming industry continues to innovate, researchers and developers are likely to explore even more creative ways to integrate physical activity into the gaming experience. As such, exergaming holds the potential to transform sedentary habits into active ones and contribute to the betterment of public health in the modern era of gaming.
Senior Content Writer Charles Ingel is a gamer at heart. When he’s not brainstorming and scribbling ideas for his next article, he’s looking up the latest games to try out on his newly purchased PS5.
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