“Active” video games distributed to homes with children do not produce the increase in physical activity that naïve parents (like me) expected. That’s according to a study undertaken by the Children’s Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and published early this year in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Previous studies have shown that adults and children who play active video games, when encouraged in an ideal laboratory setting, engage in moderate, even vigorous physical activity briefly. The Baylor team wanted to determine what happened when the games were used not in a laboratory, but in actual homes… .

They found “no evidence that children receiving the active video games were more active in general, or at any time, than children receiving the inactive video games.”

‘Active’ Video Games Don’t Make Youths More Active – NYTimes.com. The article doesn’t mention this, but a key factor here is that Wii players learn pretty quickly that minimal human movements can produce extravagant activity onscreen. For instance, once I figured out that a tiny flick of the wrist would be sufficient to roll the bowling ball or serve the tennis ball, it was hard for me to make myself go through an elaborate pantomiming of the “real thing.”