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Kids Feel the Burn With Virtual Exercise

Children Burn Calories, Boost Heart Rate by Playing Virtual Exercise Games

Not All Games Equal

A third study from the Netherlands suggests that not all active games are created equal.

The research team studied six gaming systems: Dance Dance Revolution, Wii Tennis, Eye Toy Beach Volleyball, Xerbike, Lasersquash, and Apartgame.

Results showed that kids didn't burn as many calories when playing Wii Tennis and Eye Toy Beach Volleyball as when playing the other games.

Nevertheless, "any active game is going to be better for your child than a handheld one," says researcher Sanne de Vries, MS, of TNO Prevention and Health in Leiden.

Not a Substitute for "Real" Sports

Commenting on the research, Edward J. Mendelsohn, MD, says, "There's no question that these newer, active video games help to burn calories."

Mendelsohn, an attending physiatrist at St. Vincent's Hospital in New York, says that after a few rounds of Wii Boxing with his 7-year-old son, he often breaks into a sweat.

"Nothing replaces being outside and engaging in active sports with your friends," he tells WebMD. "But if it's raining, this is a fun, easy way to incorporate some fitness into your kids' lives."

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