fitness video games are an alternative workout, study finds

Experts claim that almost anyone can find a “workout game” that suits their interests. From Dance Dance Revolution to Ring Fit Adventure to Beat Saber, there are plenty of “active play” options to try on both PC and console:

research has shown that physical exercise leads to physical benefits, especially when replacing traditional sedentary video games



The study showed that exergamers

they experienced high levels of satisfaction and a sense of empowerment with their virtual exercise program

. “When an individual feels independent, they are more likely to exercise and benefit from it,” he said.

Sami Yli-Piipari

, study co-author and associate professor at the University of Georgia’s Mary Frances Early College of Education. “

They feel in control of what they do, [sanno] that they do it for themselves, and are more likely to continue to train”


The study involved

55 people

whose daily physical activity was

less than the recommended 150 minutes per week

. Participants were randomly assigned to sports and fitness games or were asked to participate in traditional aerobics classes three times a week for a total of six weeks. The group assigned to active video games was able to choose from a variety of games, among which stand out

just dance


Kinect Sports


Zumba Fitness World Party


Video games - Fitness - Exergame

The study measured physical activity and exertion during exercise sessions

with accelerometers, heart rate monitors and a scale that measures participants’ effort. The researchers also used a variety of metrics to assess participants’ perceived enjoyment during the workouts as well as their motivation.

It was found that

individuals assigned to traditional classes trained harder than their counterparts in the exergaming group

. Support from teammates in these types of environments has been shown to encourage people to give their all and make them accountable to consistently show up for class. “It makes sense because you’re probably pushing your limits if someone’s watching your back rather than playing alone,” Yli-Piipari said.

Video games - Fitness - Exergame

However, the study found that exergamers had more fun

, compared to those who practice traditional disciplines. Coupled with a greater sense of control over their exercise routine, this makes it more likely that they will continue doing it and are more open to other types of physical activity in the future. “

I see physical exercise and technology-enhanced exercise as a springboard

“, says Yli-Piipari. “This is the first step in the right direction, especially for people who do not feel involved in any kind of physical activity”.

Active video games and their positive health effects are not just for adults.

Fitness video games are also an easy way for parents to encourage their children to increase their physical activity.

the researchers said. “When buying games for your kids or for yourself, try to buy games that get you moving,” says Yli-Piipari. “If you try to force your children to be active, they may do it because you tell them to. But the likelihood of them continuing to be active when you turn your back on them is very small.”

For kids and many adults, playing a video game doesn’t seem like a boring exercise.

. “Sometimes we forget how difficult it is for inactive people to take the first step,” Yli-Piipari said. “These games can really help people deal with such a problem.”

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