The energy expenditure of an activity-promoting video game compared to sedentary video games and TV watching

Naim Mitre, Randal C. Foster, Lorraine Lanningham-Foster, and James A. Levine 2
  • 1 Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA
  • 2 Endocrine Research Unit, Division of Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN, USA
  • 3 Section of Endocrinology, Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, Kansas City, MO, USA
  • 4 Food Science and Human Nutrition, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA


Background: In the present study we investigated the effect of television watching and the use of activity-promoting video games on energy expenditure in obese and lean children.

Methods: Energy expenditure and physical activity were measured while participants were watching television, playing a video game on a traditional sedentary video game console, and while playing the same video game on an activity-promoting video game console.

Results: Energy expenditure was significantly greater than television watching and playing video games on a sedentary video game console when children played the video game on the activity-promoting console. When examining movement with accelerometry, children moved significantly more when playing the video game on the Nintendo Wii console.

Conclusion: Activity-promoting video games have shown to increase movement, and be an important tool to raise energy expenditure by 50% when compared to sedentary activities of daily living.

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