Wii Controller: ©HKPNC/iStockphoto
Video games: It seems that every kiddo is playing them and every kiddo wants them for the holidays. But before you heave a heavy sigh of exasperation, know this: Kids aren’t simply sitting on their rears, mindlessly fiddling with a controller.
“Active video games where players need to move in order to control the game are hugely popular with kids — and they can be great exercise,” says Jeanette DePatie, a certified fitness instructor who specializes in training beginners, kids, and adults alike. Case in point: Recent research in The Journal of Pediatrics shows that high-intensity games (involving huffing and puffing) can improve heart health and energy expenditure in children.
But before you blindly select a game, take advice from our real-life kids. We gathered a group and had them test out both new and classic games from the two most popular active gaming systems: Nintendo Wii ($130) and Xbox 360 with Kinect ($199). Here’s what their sweat equity yielded.