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17
OCT

A Couch Potato’s Dream Come True

Filed Under: Sexual Health at 1:16 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
TV and video games have always been a limited luxury. We’ve been told that too much of either will corrupt our minds. The basic primetime lineup, after all, consists of sex, drugs and alcohol, and the typical video game is largely the same. If you can get through an hour without someone blowing up, taking off their clothes or getting drunk, you’re an anomaly in the electronic-viewing world. And even if you do find a G-rated program or game that won’t destroy your morals, the effects on your health – thanks to the excessive sitting and habitual snacking – are generally detrimental . . . until now.

An analysis of 807 primetime television watchers found that certain shows were inspiring viewers to become healthier. After seeing an ER series of episodes in which a teenager was diagnosed with high blood pressure and advised to make various lifestyle changes, the participants were 65 percent more likely to change their own lives for the better. They were willing to take real health advice from fake health advisors.  But, it wasn’t just the fictional characters that were influencing their nutrition. Reality TV programs and real-life television personalities continually affect our opinions on products and life choices. When Oprah, for example, mentioned a Chinese weight-loss tea on air, the product quickly became one of the most popular weight-loss beverages available.  So, it appears that the right TV might help your health, and the good news is so might the right video game.

Video and computer games no longer connect your butt to the couch; they get you moving. The perfect example is Dance Dance Revolution. A game that involves a portable mat, on-screen instructions and lots of movement, it is now being used to motivate unmotivated teens. They can go to the gym, join a class and dance for an hour, all while improving cardiovascular stamina, coordination and balance. Plus, they burn some calories. And if they’re concerned with public image, they can always buy their own and set it up at home. Either way, they are doing one of the things that make them happy (video games) while making their bodies happy at the same time.  Of course, Dance Dance Revolution isn’t going to win over all of the gamers, but that’s okay. The development of the Wii and the in-the-works development of a new movement-propelled PDA game, has added physical activity to previously inert individuals.  Our favorite lazy vices are quickly becoming good for us. Before you know it, we’ll be telling kids to turn on the TV and play more video games. Who would have thought?


One Response to “A Couch Potato’s Dream Come True”

  1. Steveo says:

    2 Words. Nintendo WII! Thats a workout.

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