Exergames such as Pokemon Go that combine gaming with physical activity can help reduce sedentary time and promote health, a new study has found.
Traditional video gaming has increased the health detriments of sedentary time. Exergames, on the other hand, require physical activity and thus, reduce the detriments of sedentary activities such as sitting.
"One central advantage of exergames is their ability to combine enjoyment and utility, and for many that is the underlying reason for playing," said Tuomas Kari from University of Jyvaskyla in Finland.
"This way the games can offer physical activity to their players on the side of gaming without the players necessarily even realising this," said Kari.
"Thus, these games can act as a mean to make exercise more fun, especially for those who are otherwise less interested about exercising," he said.
Considering this, exergames can be recommended as an alternative for traditional video gaming, researchers said.
Exergaming can provide exertion of the recommended intensity, is generally enjoyed, and can evoke some health benefits, but on a longer-term, these games alone are not sufficient to increase physical activity and fitness levels sufficiently for significant physical health benefits, and other forms of physical activity should be used alongside exergames.
"Exergames are played more often in a group than individual setting. Through gaming, meeting new people and acquiring new friends can be easier. Therefore, exergaming can also increase social wellbeing," Kari said.
The dissertation unveils that exergaming is equally popular between men and women, but the playing is more common among the younger age groups.
Physical activity background does not influence the commonness of playing exergames, but those who are more active digital gamers in general tend to be also more active exergamers.
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