Video Games and Physical Therapy

Technology is becoming more present in people’s everyday routine. Whether it is phones, computers, video games, or tablets people are using technology more and more every day. So how do we get kids to be more active in this day and age when technology is so prevalent? One way is to limit screen time and encourage kids to play outside, but on rainy or cold days this is not always possible. Another option is to use technology to get kids more active.

Using active video games such as Xbox Kinect or the Wii are great ways to get kids up and moving. These games can help improve your child’s gross motor skills such as jumping, balance, and coordination. They can also be used to help improve your child’s body awareness. Active video games may promote physical activity in individuals striving to improve balance, undergoing rehabilitation, who have an acute or chronic illness, or who have a physical or developmental impairment, according to a 2014 study published by the NCBI. This study found promising results for improved health outcomes related to therapy, including significantly greater or comparable effects of AVG play versus usual care. 

Another study compared active video games to exercise. Japanese researchers measured the metabolic equivalent values (a standard method of estimating energy expenditure) of 12 people ages 25 to 44 as they played Wii sports games and did Wii fitness programs. Light-intensity exercise is less than three METs, moderate-intensity exercise is three to six METs and vigorous activity is more than six METs, according to the American Heart Association. The study found that 23 activities had two to three METs; nine activities had three to four METs; and five activities had more than four METs 

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