Do active video games increase physical activity?

Active video games have been on the market for some time now, but how useful are they as a tool to increase physical activity, reduce sedentary behaviour and aid rehabilitation?

This latest evidence briefing from the BHF National Centre summarises what is known about active video gaming (known as exergaming) from both laboratory and ‘real life’ research. It also provides recommendations on the use of exergaming as a physical activity intervention.

Key findings from the research evidence include:
•    Most exergames are considered to be a light-to-moderate intensity activity for both adults and children.     
•    In older adults, most games are likely to be a light intensity activity.
•    Exergames provide an alternative to sedentary behaviours, but they only contribute a small amount to daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.
•    More high quality research is needed to assess exergaming’s potential for providing long term changes to levels of physical activity and sedentary behaviour.