Do you like to play video games? If you’re like many kids, your answer was probably a loud “Yes!” And why not? Today’s video games are totally awesome!

From time to time, though, you may have adults tell you that you’re spending too much time playing video games. They might also say you’re spending too much time in front of the television. Are they right? It depends.

Adults — especially parents — often keep track of how much time you spend watching television and playing video games. Why? They’re just worried about you and want to make sure you’re not doing things that are unhealthy.

Can watching television or playing video games be unhealthy? Yes, they certainly can…if you spend too much time doing these things instead of other things you need to do. For example, if you play video games instead of doing your homework, your grades could suffer.

Also, playing too many video games might mean you’re spending too much time on the couch. If you stay on the couch and play video games for hours and hours, you might not be getting the amount of exercise that you need.

It all depends upon what video games you’re playing. If you spend hours playing games that only require you to use a few buttons on your controller, then your thumbs may be in great shape. However, the rest of your body might not be getting the exercise it needs.

Playing video games doesn’t have to be just a sedentary activity, though. Thanks to exergaming (that’s a term for games that combine EXERcise and GAMING), you can now play video games and get exercise at the same time.

exergaming uses technology that tracks your body’s movements and reactions. From running and hula hooping to dancing and skiing, there are many different types of video games available today that can help you exercise while you’re having fun playing video games.

Although Nintendo’s Wii Fit and Microsoft’s Kinect games have popularized exergaming recently, exergaming actually dates back to the late 1980s. However, it wasn’t until Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution became popular that exergaming really took off. Today, exergaming games and accessories account for over $2 billion in sales each year.

Don’t go and brag to your parents that playing video games can be healthy just yet, though. Experts who have studied exergaming have found that traditional methods of exercise (running, biking and playing sports) are better for you than just exergaming. While exergaming may be better than playing sedentary games, you still need to make sure that you’re getting the right amount of quality exercise that your body needs!

 

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