Video games helpful for seniors to workout

Kevin Magna

December 20, 2011

Video games helpful for seniors to workoutMost kids and adults who use interactive video gaming systems believe that they are getting the best of both worlds – being able to play video games and getting necessary exercise. Since such games were created in 2007, countless researchers have conducted studies to test just how much physical activity players actually get.

According to a recent study conducted by researchers from Michigan State University, most games are a workout – for the senior population, CNN reports.

To come to this conclusion, scientists recruited participants to play games while they monitored their energy levels, heart rates and oxygen consumption. From the data, it was found that the majority of games offered players the equivalent of a light to moderate workout. Although this isn't ideal for gamers looking to lose weight, it does offer seniors a solid option for working out.

"This is a good tool for them," lead researcher Wei Peng told the news outlet. "They really cannot engage in vigorous levels of activity. They may go for walks but in the wintertime it's kind of hard, so video games are especially good."

Games can also be helpful for seniors aging in place alone, as they won't need to leave their homes to exercise. Although working out is crucial to aging successfully, performing such activities can put the elderly at a greater risk of falling. Seniors looking to exercise at home may want to install a medical alert system, as these wearable devices allow them to call for help in case of an emergency.