Can exergaming improve your child’s wellbeing?

Interesting facts:
  • Since 1980, obesity and being overweight has increased by 27.5% in adults and 47.1% in children. 
  • A fifth of boys and a quarter of girls in South Africa are overweight. 
  • Health risks such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoarthritis and chronic kidney disease increase when a child is overweight or obese. 
  • Exercise can improve scholastic performance.
How can I determine if my child is overweight or obese?
A simple way to determine if your child is overweight is by taking their height and weight measurements into consideration to determine their Body Mass Index (BMI).

Click here or here to calculate your child’s BMI 

Why is childhood obesity increasing?
  • Children don’t move and exercise enough. They should participate in at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day, five days per week.
  • They watch more than 3 hours of television per day. 
  • Children choose activities like playing video games, watching television and/or using a computer over physical play. 

Advantages of active video games
  • There are several active gaming systems with hand-held motion sensing remote controls to or stepping mats with which children can engage. Children can box, swing a baseball bat, walk a tight rope or throw a ball, dance to the beat, run or do a fitness class in this way.
  • Children are more active.
  • It is a great way to combat overweight and obesity.
  • It can have similar advantages to joining a running club.
  • Children’s heart rate goes up, which improves cardio-respiratory fitness.
  • It can be a viable alternative to more traditional forms of exercise.
  • Read more about the possible advantages of regular video games.

Research done by Prof. Dr. Ina Shaw (MMI Holdings and University of Johannesburg) and Prof. Dr. Brandon S. Shaw (University of Johannesburg)

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