Spending hours in front of the computer playing video games isn’t healthy. The glare from the screen probably isn’t good for your eyes, the constant sitting will kill your lower back, and the relative inactivity could potentially reduce your overall fitness levels, unless of course you are someone who can balance their video games with exercise.
However for those looking to lose a bit of weight, scientists at the University of Exeter and Cardiff University have come together and created a video game that they claim has the potential to help with weight loss. According to their study, participants who played the game saw an average of 1.5 pounds shed in the first seven days, and 4.5 pounds after six months.
The participants also reduced their daily caloric consumption by as much as 220 calories. How does this work? Basically it seems to have to do with associating positive actions with healthy food. Gamers were instructed to press certain keys when healthy food such as fruits and vegetables appeared on the screen, but when unhealthy food like chips and cookies appeared, they were told to not do anything.
According to Dr. Natalia Lawrence who led the team of researchers, “This research is still in its infancy and the effects are modest. Larger, registered trials with longer-term measures need to be conducted. However, our findings suggest that this cognitive training approach is worth pursuing: It is free, easy to do and 88 percent of our participants said they would be happy to keep doing it and would recommend it to a friend.”
However Lawrence also warned that this isn’t necessarily a guaranteed way to lose weight, nor should it be seen as a “cure” either, but like we said the positive associations with healthy food could help some keep to their diet.