Losing weight after a pregnancy is not easy for many and the added kilos often remain there. Several studies show that physical activity and fitness training are effective in making the pregnancy silos disappear again, but many young mothers do not keep this up because the new child takes a lot of time, and being away from home is often difficult. Unlike the family-friendly game Minecraft (with the best Minecraft servers), a number of computer games are designed to make people move while playing. Researchers from Japan combined the useful with the pleasant and conducted a study on the effectiveness of playing these computer games on weight loss after pregnancy.
What did the researchers do?
34 women were asked to participate in the study. All women had given birth between 3 and 12 months before the start of the study. The women were randomly divided into a Video Game training group and a Control group. The Video Game training group was asked to play 30 minutes of Wii Fit Plus on the Nintendo Wii daily. However, they were free in how often and for how long they were going to play. The exercise intensity of the Wii Fit Plus game was around 3 METs or metabolic equivalents. This effort is similar to cycling or walking. The Control group was asked to maintain their regular lifestyle. The study lasted 40 days and before and after the start the participants were weighed and their waist size and fat mass were measured.
After 40 days, both the Video Game group and the control group showed a significant decrease in body weight and fat mass. However, the decreases were larger in the Video Game group and this group also showed a significant decrease in waist size. Although participants in the Video Game group were advised to play every day, this only happened on 4 days each week with an average of 62 minutes per session. So it was not played every day, but when this was done, the participants did it longer than recommended.
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What did the researchers conclude?
The researchers concluded that playing video games that require you to be active for a reasonable period of time can lead to meaningful decreases in body weight, waist size, and fat mass. In addition, it turned out that the participants really enjoyed doing it, which is also evident from the playing time per session.
What does this mean in practice?
- Active video games where one has to constantly move the body to play can serve well to train the weight that has arrived during pregnancy in a fairly short period of time.
- Active video games can therefore serve as a substitute for other physical activities such as walking or other outdoor activities when it is not convenient to leave home in connection with the care of a baby.
- Although it is a very useful alternative to regular physical activity, a combination of exercise, training, and a healthy lifestyle is more effective.