I hate the gym. It's busy, it smells, and I get the heebie-jeebies when I think of all the sweaty hands that have touched the equipment. But what's a girl to do if she wants to exercise regularly? Buy a gaming console.
A recent article by Wei Peng, an associate professor at Michigan State University, says that "exergames" can play a role in getting sedentary people to be more active. Peng reviewed 41 active video game (AVG) studies, and only three of them proved AVGs to be an effective tool in increasing activity.
The average adult requires 30 minutes of "moderate to vigorous" exercise daily, and AVGs provide only light to moderate activity. For some populations (i.e., seniors, those in rehab… community editors?), this light to moderate activity is enough, Peng writes. He is also quick to point out that education regarding physical activity is also important.
"Just giving the games to people may not be a good approach," Peng writes. "They may not use it or use it effectively. It's better if [the games are] used in a structured program where there are more people participating."
Do you think "exergames" can be useful tools to ramp up the physical activity of cancer patients? Is your facility using AVGs?
Next week, we have a free Webinar, Exercise and Cancer –- Keep Moving, presented by Donna Wilson, RN, MSN, RRT. Please sign up if you haven't already! I will ask her what she thinks about AVGs for the cancer patient.
Peng's article, "Using Active Video Games for Physical Activity Promotion: A Systematic Review of the Current State of Research," was published by Health Education & Behavior.