Adolescents who play active video games increase their heart rate, use more oxygen and expend more energy, according to a small new study.

Low levels of physical activity are associated with obesity in children. Compared to video games that youngsters can play while sitting on the couch, active video games encourage movement and could help children increase their physical activity levels, according to researchers Stephen Smallwood and colleagues at the University of Chester, in England.

The games, "Dance Central" and "Kinect Sports: Boxing," increased the children's energy expenditure by 150 percent and 263 percent, respectively, above resting values. Energy expenditure while playing the active games was 103 percent and 194 percent higher, respectively, than playing traditional video games.

The active games also led to significant increases in heart rate and oxygen uptake, in the study published online Sept. 24 in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Source: U.S. News & World Report
http://health.usnews.com/health-news/news/articles/2012/09/24/active-video-games-have-exercise-like-effects-in-kids-study