To the Editor A recent article1 in this journal examined the energy expenditure of active video games (AVGs). It provided a rationale for AVGs, which are thought to increase adolescents’ physical activity and contribute to obesity prevention. This small study (N = 18 adolescents aged 11-15 years) examined the energy expenditure of 2 AVGs. One AVG reached “moderate intensity” and another, only light intensity levels of energy expenditure, but both demonstrated greater energy expended than playing a sedentary video game. This study repeats the findings of many similar studies2 and now reviews and meta-analyses3 over the last few years demonstrating a short-term increase in energy expenditure. However, from a public health perspective, is this kind of AVG intervention really likely to produce population-level improvements in the established risks of inactivity and obesity among adolescents?
Bauman A, Macniven R. Are Active Video Games Useful in Increasing Physical Activity and Addressing Obesity in Children?. JAMA Pediatr. 2013;167(7):676-677. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.2418