Linking physical exercise to video games

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After another record year For revenue and industry involvement, it’s clear that video games are increasingly a part of North American culture. Despite wide acceptance of video games across all demographic groups, the majority of gamers are still children and young adults.

The youth of the game is of concern to some, as more than half of young Canadians fail to meet federal government requirements. sedentary behavior guidelines. According to Health Canada, prolonged periods of sitting to watch television or play video games are the leading causes of inactivity among young people. This leads many parents to assume that avoiding sedentary activities such as play is the best for their child’s physical health.

Despite the health consequences of excessive gambling, such as poor posture and weight gain, physical exercise and video games have an important link. In a to study published at the end of last month in the newspaper Medicine and science in sport and exercise, a group of McGill researchers have shown that physical exercise before a session of League of Legends improved performance in a specific highly mechanical task.

Marc Roig, associate professor in the McGill School of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy and lead author of the article, was quick to credit his students with McGill Memory Lab.

“The idea came from my students,” Roig said in an interview with The McGill Tribune. ” They know [League of Legends] and were able to come up with an easily quantifiable task [.…] This gets around the fact that most search games are boring.

The chosen task would be familiar to everyone League of Legends player, a community that contained approximately 100 million monthly players worldwide at its peak. To help win the game, the characters deliver the final blow to enemy minions in a move known as the “last blow”. Even without enemy players, the act of hitting last is difficult.

To normalize player familiarity, the unpopular character Soraka was selected for all participants to play. Since all the characters in League of Legends having different attacks, playing a new character for the first time is often a challenge. Study participants also varied in League of Legends rank, a measure of a player’s skill.

After developing a quantifiable and challenging video game task, the team was then able to formulate their exercise regimen.

“We wanted [the participants to do] something short and sweet but not overly tiring, ”Roig said. “Three-minute intervals of intense exercise, then rest for a total of nine minutes. ”

On two different days, participants had either a period of rest or exercise before their video game session. The results were clear: the individual performances in the play sessions that followed the exercise were more successful.

The success of this experiment gave Roig and his team hope that they could expand their research by taking a closer look at exact motor functions and skills. While it can be difficult, a clear path is to create an interesting and fun video game designed specifically for research. Roig suggested that such a platform could be integrated with other Memory Lab research projects such as Parkinson’s disease experiments.

Roig is also optimistic that the team’s main research lessons will have a positive impact on young people.

“You can combine exercise and video games,” Roig said. “A lot of people think they are against it, but in reality we are failing our younger generations. The hope of this article is to show parents and young people that you can improve yourself at the same time. simultaneously. “

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