Study Looks Into Video Games and Weight Loss
The West Virginia Public Employees Insurance Agency, which covers 215,000 employees and their dependents, has commissioned a weight loss study involving children and Konami's Dance Dance Revolution video game.
WV PEIA is providing participating children with a PS2 game console, dance mat, and DDR video game. Meanwhile, West Virginia University has taken charge of providing medical screenings and tracking results. The children, all school age and all children of PEIA-covered employees, are required to play the game for a prescribed amount of time each day, maintain a log of play time and weight, wear a pedometer, and meet with researchers once or twice a month.
The study will last six months and cost the WV PEIA roughly $60,000.
WV PEIA is also providing funding for a portion of a two-year pilot project with the state's education department, which will put the game in 20 schools for use in physical education classes. The hope is that children who play it at school will get their parents to buy it for home use.
In West Virginia, almost 43 percent of the nearly 6,000 children screened for heart disease risk were considered overweight or obese. "Today's kids are tomorrow's members," said PEIA's Nidia Henderson. "Obesity claims last year cost us $77 million. We have to curtail those costs."
Meanwhile, studies are ongoing at Syracuse University and Penn State, which are looking at the potential cardiovascular and physiological benefits from playing games like Dance Dance Revolution.
Sounds neat. Personally, my girlfriend started playing the game four times a week a few months ago, as a means to lose weight, and the results have been obvious. Exercise works!
4/4/2005 Frank Provo