80% of the time videogames do not involve any physical activity in any respect. There are consoles, however, like the xbox and the wii that have the motion sensors that require you do some physical activity to get the task done rather that just using your fingers to win the game.
In 2008, a study was conducted to see if certain types of video games had an impact on the physical activity of pre-teens. The requirements for this study were that you had to be between 10-14, owned a playstation 2 platform. These children were recruited randomly through ads, local schools and just by words spreading around. Children who already owned physical activity games were not allowed to do this study.
During this 12 week study, the children were given many tools to measure different aspects to see how active they really are. They were also put into two different groups, one that received intervention and one that didn’t. The first one is called an Actigraph Accelerometer, this measures movement on vertical planes that goes outside the “normal” range of motion (with those movement being electronically filtered). The AA was only worn during the waking hours on 2 weekday and 2 weekend days. Time spent at different levels of activity rates were recorded for the study at different age groups. On those same days, the children were asked to write down what video games (active and inactive) they participated in and everything else that they did on those days.
The results of the study were a little shocking. The participants in the group with intervention spent less time playing any type of video games than the group that received no intervention. When the intervened did play a video game, however, they played the active ones. Both groups, however, did do around the same amount of physical activity.
This study showed me that those who had help doing physical activity tended to do it more than those who didn’t have help. It is always easier to be lazy when you have no one to help you or to give you any incentive to do better at anything.