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Contact: Vicki Cohn, (914) 740-2156, vcohn@liebertpub.com
New Report in Games for Health Journal Clarifies Link Between Active Video Games and Increased Physical Activity Among Children

New Rochelle, NY, June  11, 2012—The recent finding that access to active video games (AVGs) did not lead to increased physical activity among children was widely reported in the media, but often inaccurately. A new report that provides an accurate interpretation of those findings and a clear direction for future research on how to use AVGs to promote physical activity is published in Games for Health Journal, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.  The article is available free on the Games for Health Journal website.

“Responsible journalists owe their readers and the authors of research papers a thorough review of the content and conclusions of the research,” says Games for Health Journal Editor-in-Chief Bill Ferguson, PhD. “We felt the researchers, practitioners, and public deserved clarification of the misreported findings, and Games for Health Journal is the appropriate forum in which to do so.”

In the article “Is Enhanced Physical Activity Possible Using Active Videogames?,” Tom Baranowski, PhD and coauthors from Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, TX) and Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) believe that AVGs may be a useful tool for promoting physical activity among children—an important goal in light of the growing obesity epidemic. Yet determining what types of AVG designs would be optimal, how they should be used, and under what conditions requires much research.

While a previous article by Baranowski et al. published in Pediatrics concluded that access by children 10-12 years of age to an AVG under naturalistic circumstances did not result in increased physical activity, numerous reports in the media misinterpreted this conclusion. The study did not question the potential for AVGs to impact physical activity levels in children. Rather, it emphasized the potential for different outcomes when introducing an AVG in a controlled laboratory setting versus in a more naturalistic home setting. Furthermore, it identified several characteristics of AVGs and other factors that could be modified to impact their usage and ability to affect the levels of physical activity.

 

About the Journal
Games for Health Journal breaks new ground as the first journal to address this emerging and increasingly important area of health care. The Journal provides a bimonthly forum in print and online for academic and clinical researchers, game designers and developers, health care providers, insurers, and information technology leaders. Articles explore the use of game technology in a variety of clinical applications. These include disease prevention and monitoring, nutrition, weight management, and medication adherence. Gaming can play an important role in the care of patients with diabetes, post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, and cognitive, mental, emotional, and behavioral health disorders.

About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking and Telemedicine & e-Health. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 70 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available at Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.