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‘Exergames’ not a replacement for exercise

playing gameCriticized for their part in modern kids’ sedentary lifestyles, video games have been a subject of much debate. How long should kids—and adults—sit in front of the tube? What are the health effects?

While the latest games like Dance Dance Revolution or Wii Fit—also called “exergames”—have been touted by game manufacturers as the exercise solution for adult couch potatoes, new research shows that while such games can help and are a better substitute for sedentary games, they’re not a replacement for regular physical activity.

That’s because most video games fail to provide the 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous daily physical activity recommended for adults.

Don’t turn off your TV just yet, though. Exercise games are most beneficial when used as part of a structured program. Incorporate exercise games with your regular exercise program (and maybe a fitness DVD, too) to maximize your workouts—and your entertainment.