Can a Video Game Make Your Kids More Fit?
Exclusive ACE Research Proves Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) Can Be a Tremendous Workout
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Feb. 6, 2008) – Based on the growing popularity of video games that eliminate conventional hand controllers in favor of more full-body interaction, the American Council on Exercise (ACE) put Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) to the test.
The ACE commissioned research out of the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, focused on quantifying DDR’s potential physical benefits. Looking at the caloric expenditure data of 24 volunteers, researchers determined that it is comparable to many other aerobic activities and could result in significant weight loss if used regularly.
Led by John Porcari, Ph.D., FACSM and Anna Norlin, M.S., male and female subjects, ages 12 –25 years old were recruited for the study. Half the volunteers were under the age of 18 and enlisted from the local La Crosse Boys & Girls Club.
Based on the physiological responses to three levels of DDR, all subjects showed a marked increase in exercise intensity as they participated. Adult participants burned more calories, which can be attributed to differences in body weight since the adults averaged about 25 pounds heavier than teenage subjects.
On average, subjects burned: 5.9 kcal/min on light mode, comparable to an easy walk on a treadmill. 6.7 kcal/min on standard mode, equivalent to riding a bike about 12 to 14 miles and hour and 8.1 kcal/min on difficult mode, similar to the benefits people get with high-impact aerobics.
All study participants, regardless of their experience with DDR, were required to practice a pre-determined four song dance sequence for up to six hour-long practice sessions or until their could demonstrate proficiency. Testing included continuously monitoring all participants of their oxygen uptake, heart rate and ratings of perceived exertion.
Researchers used a home-based version of the game called DDR Extreme 2 ($35; musicineverydirection.com) for Sony PlayStation 2 ($150; playstions.com) with a $40 dance pad.
For a detailed summary of the study as seen in the Sept. /Oct. 2007 issue of ACE Fitness Matters visit www.acefitness.org/cp/pdfs/FitnessMatters/Sept07.pdf.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE), your premier certification, education and training organization, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the benefits of physical activity and protecting consumers against unsafe and ineffective fitness products and instruction. ACE sponsors university-based exercise science research and is one of the world’s largest nonprofit fitness certifying organizations. For more information on ACE and its programs, call (800) 825-3636 or log onto the ACE Web site at www.acefitness.org.
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