I don’t normally get all worked up and sarcastic about research. In fact, I love reading about real, truly beneficial scientific research. So while I appreciate the whole scientific process, sometimes I just have to say, “Well, Duh!” I suppose it’s important to test theories just to be SURE that a hypothesis is correct, but really, was it necessary to test the hypothesis that a video game that requires physical action – such as Nintendo’s Wii Boxing – would actually burn more calories in kids than watching TV would? Well, apparently someone felt the need to see if moving around might expend more energy than not moving around would, and lucky for us, the answer is Yes!
According to Science Daily’s summary of the research done by the University of Oklahoma,
Wii bowling and beginner level DDR elicited a 2-fold increase in energy expenditure compared to television watching. Overall, the energy expenditure during active video game play was comparable to moderate-intensity walking. Thus, for children who spend considerable time playing electronic screen games for entertainment, OU researchers found that substituting that time with physically active games can be a safe, fun and valuable means of promoting energy expenditure.
Let me give you a little of my own research.
Test 1: Sit on my derriere for 10 minutes watching TV. Am I tired? Nope. Not even a little.
Test 2: Play a Wii game like bowling or boxing or even yoga for 10 minutes. Am I tired? Nope. I’m EXHAUSTED.
Still not convinced? Would pictures make a difference?
Research Test 1:
Research Test 2:
I’m not sure what kind of research our universities are conducting these days, but I’m pretty sure this is the kind that does NOT need to be undertaken.
Go get your kids a Wii, let them play some physically active games, and know in your inner soul that they are expending energy. Really, you don’t need any scientific research to tell you that. It’s a Duh moment.