Benefits of Exergaming for Adults

Benefits of Exergaming for Adults


For adults, the main advantages exergaming has over traditional sports and fitness activities are that it is more entertaining and, perhaps just as importantly, more convenient. Most adults live pretty hectic lives these days, trying to find a balance between their responsibilities at work and the need to spend time with their families. Even if they could squeeze in a fitness program into their schedule, vigorous exercise is usually not how they want to spend whatever time they can spare between work and household chores. The game aspect of iDANCE and similar workout games can provide the extra kick they need to not only start an exercise routine, but also to stick with it in the long haul.

While children take up exergaming mostly because they have fun doing it, adults do it for a whole variety of reasons, fun not being the least of them. Fitness, weight loss or maintenance, and the social aspect of dance games usually play a significant role in their decision to give iDANCE a try, but along with the general benefits of physical activity, there are a number of other factors inherent to iDANCE and other active games that players benefit from without really trying.

Here are some of the benefits of exergaming for adults:

Health, fitness and weight management

A forecast released at the Weight of the Nation conference in Washington, DC in the spring of 2012 paints a pretty unsettling picture. It predicts that, in 2030, 42% of adults living in the United States will be obese. Not only that, but a quarter of people within that group will be severely obese. Today, the number of adults living in the United States who are obese stands at 34 percent. While the outlook may not be as grim in other countries, the tendency to ease into a sedentary lifestyle in one’s adult years is a universal one. An inactive lifestyle always comes with a number of risks and it inevitably takes its toll on health and ability to perform physically sooner or later. This is why exercise is essential not only to maintaining a solid level of fitness, but also to ensuring a good quality of life in one’s mature years.

Exercise has a beneficial effect on a number of illnesses. People suffering from type-2 diabetes in particular can benefit from iDANCE and similar games because treatment requires regular physical activity. Because most traditional kinds of exercise are not particularly appealing to people who don’t have an interest in sports, they often lose interest in exercise and subsequently their health suffers. Health games, on the other hand, are designed to be both engaging and accessible to people at different levels of fitness, so they are an excellent choice for those whose health demands that they stay physically active.

The engaging nature of exergames is a strong motivator for people to start exercising more. A survey conducted by the American Heart Association in 2010 showed that 68 percent of those who took up active gaming became more physically active as a result of playing active video games, and 58 percent of people who played active games also took up a new fitness activity – jogging, walking, tennis, or the like – since they started playing.

Benefits of group fitness

iDANCE and other active games are designed as a group fitness activity. In itself, group exercise has both a number of advantages and shortcomings. On the one hand, a group workout is inevitably more structured than an individual training, and members of the group can provide support and a degree of accountability. People tend to push themselves harder when they are exercising in a group, and they are less likely to stop working out in the middle of a routine than they would be if they were exercising alone.

On the other hand, adults and children alike will sometimes avoid group fitness activities if they feel that there is an element of social evaluation to them and that they might underperform. With iDANCE and dance games in general, players need to always keep their eyes on the screen, which brings both self-awareness and the evaluative aspects of group exercise to a bare minimum. This allows players to only think about their next move and to experience the thrill of the game, which also makes the physical effort they put into the workout seem lesser than it really is.

Weight management

Most adults who take up iDANCE and similar dance platform games do it to have fun with their friends and stay fit, and the motivational aspect of exergaming is a huge bonus to those who play dance games to lose a few pounds or maintain their current weight. While most active video games don’t provide the same energy expenditure as the traditional, more vigorous types of exercise, iDANCE and other dance games definitely can make a difference when it comes to shedding excess pounds. A study conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine showed that adults aged 18-35 spend 298 percent more energy playing a dance simulation game than they do at rest.

Family time

Active games are both a more entertaining alternative to the gym and an excellent way to spend time with the family. The American Heart Association’s study of exergaming showed that 82 percent of players who took up active gaming started to play more with their friends and family over time. The appeal of gaming is far from the only reason why they do it.

Active games provide both entertainment and a healthy dose of exercise for both adults and children. They also allow family members to interact more than they would if they were, for instance, watching TV and, needless to say, they are much more active than board games and sedentary video games.

Active games are also very convenient. They do not require planning trips to the park or constantly trying to think of new activities for the kids. With machine dance and other games, the whole family can reap the benefits – improved fitness level, endurance and agility, better reaction time, balance and coordination – without even leaving the house.

 


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