Active Video Games

Active video games are often thought to be an easy way to move around while having fun with your family or friends. Some people think that they are a good solution for children who do not get enough physical activity.

The opposite is true! According to a study by Active Healthy Kids Canada, active video games may not be as beneficial as we think! In fact, they are not recommended because:

  • They do not increase children’s daily physical activity level.
  • They do not contribute to attaining the recommended amount of daily physical activity (180 minutes for children aged 1 to 4 and 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity for children aged 5 and over).
  • They do not increase the heart rate enough.
  • They do not offer the connection with nature, vitamin D, fresh air, and social interaction that come with outdoor activities and active play.

Although they may be a good way of reducing the time spent sitting in front of the television, tablet, or computer, active video games are not as beneficial as real activities, games, and/or sports.

Should they be banned?

Not necessarily, according to experts, but they should not be viewed as a replacement for physical activity and, above all, the maximum recommended daily screen time of less than an hour a day for children aged 2 to 4 and no more than 2 hours a day for children 5 or older should not be exceeded.

Active Healthy Kids Canada, « Active Healthy Kids Canada’s Position on Active Video Games », November 2012,
Kim Brunhuber, « Active video games discouraged by child fitness experts », CBC News, November 26, 2012,
Canadian Obesity Network, « Active video games don’t increase overall daily physical activity levels »,




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