Physically intensive games like Wii Fit and EA Sports Active are unlikely to have much bearing on your overall fitness, according to a new study.
As reported by Reuters, boffins at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, tested 78 overweight children between the ages of 9 and 12, over a period of 13 weeks.
All the kids were given a Wii – none of them previously owned the console – with half the group receiving games like Wii Fit Plus, Wii Sports and Dance Dance Revolution, and the other half taking titles like Mario Kart Wii, Super Mario Galaxy and Disney Sing-It Pop Hits. Halfway through the study, all the kids were switched over onto another game from the active selection.
The portly youngsters were monitored with accelerometers, the researchers hoping that active games might encourage them to move about a bit more and burn off a few calories. But in short, no dice.
"We expected that playing the video games would in fact lead to a substantial increase in physical activity in the children," lamented Dr Tom Baranowski.
"Frankly we were shocked by the complete lack of difference."
Baronowski and his colleagues couldn't state whether the games themselves weren't having much impact, or if it was simply the case that the kids slobbed-out extra hard after playing.
I'm betting the latter.