It is a well-known fact that the current generation is spending a considerable amount time playing video games. Some would argue that we are so attached to our virtual machines that we are missing out on key aspects of daily life, such as being social. Well, a contrasting study was done on kids with cerebral palsy (CP) which showed that it may actually be the opposite for these kids.
The study focused specifically on active video games, especially the Nintendo Wii and its vast assortment of different physical games. The study monitored 17 different kids with different severities of CP as they played four different Wii games: Wii Bowling, Tennis, Boxing and Dance Dance Revolution (DDR). They monitored the kids’ physical responses to the gameplay, such as their muscle activity. In the end, the data showed that active video games did have a positive effect on kids with mild CP. The low-key physical exertion required to play active video games along with the rewarding aspect of beating games and leveling avatars encouraged the kids to do repetitious physical movement which may promote neuroplastic change.
On top of these benefits, the kids also highly enjoyed playing the games. This allowed for increased attention spans and longer exercise sessions. Although this method for promoting physical activity in kids with CP does not replace traditional outdoor activities, it is a good way to mix up the routine and provide a fun a new way to get daily exercise.
What do you guys think about this new evidence that shows the positive aspects of the Wii and other physical gaming consoles? Do you believe that this is a good way to help kids with cerebral palsy train their muscles and get more exercise? Let me know in a comment!