Media Morsels

by Joy Keller on May 01, 2007

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em! That’s the attitude Mayo Clinic researchers took when they measured how much energy kids expended playing video games. The findings were published in the December issue of Pediatrics (2006; 118 [6], 1831–35).

The study is the first to scientifically measure the energy spent playing video games. Subjects included 15 normal-weight children and 10 who were mildly obese. Both groups were tested while sitting and watching television; playing a “traditional” video game; playing two types of video games that required activity; and watching television while walking on a treadmill.

Researchers found that kids expended the same amount of energy while sitting and watching television as they did while playing traditional video games. When participants played the first activity- focused video game, which used a camera to virtually “place” them in a game of catch, their energy expenditure tripled. The result was the same for both lean and mildly obese children. Walking on a treadmill while watching television also tripled expenditure in the lean group, and resulted in a nearly fivefold increase in the mildly obese group. Both groups burned the most calories while playing a dance video game, but expenditure was considerably higher for the obese group—just over six times more than sitting still.

The Cooper Institute has received accreditation from the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the accrediting board for the National Organization for Competency Assurance. The NCCA uses a peer review process to

  • establish accreditation standards;
  • evaluate compliance with the standards;
  • recognize organizations and programs that demonstrate compliance; and
  • serve as a resource on quality certification.

According to the NCCA’s website, the following certifying organizations are accredited: the American Council on Exercise, the National Council on Strength & Fitness, the National Federation of Professional Trainers and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

IDEA member Beth Shaw, president and founder of YogaFit® Training Systems, has been recognized by the Humane Society of the Desert for her contributions to Orphan Pet Oasis and named an honorary member of the organization’s Million Dollar Club. Among Shaw’s donations were multiple loads of fleece blankets for the animals. Shaw supports various charitable organizations for animals, including Noah’s Bark, Pugs ’n’ Pals and Forte Animal Rescue.

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About the Author

Joy Keller

Joy Keller IDEA Author/Presenter

Joy Keller is executive editor of IDEA Fitness Journal and IDEA Fit Business Success, and is also a certified personal trainer, indoor cycling instructor, yoga teacher (RYT 200) and Reiki Master.