Scientists Downplay ‘Passive Exercise’ Study

Fake News Exclusive:

New research suggests gameplay improves fitness

Portland, OR  September 2, 2010 — Can playing Super Mario help keep you fit? Couch-bound gamers point to a controversial new study that suggests just that.

Dash.FM “researchers” conducting a 3-month study on the effects of extended computer gameplay had theorized that the long periods of inactivity associated with computer use would decrease fitness levels.  To prove their point, they recruited 20 young adults to participate in a 90 day gaming “boot camp”.  The participants described themselves as “non-gamers” who actively participated in individual or team sports.

Subjects in the study were instructed to spend a minimum of 6 hours per day playing classic computer games like Super Mario, Pacman, Tetris, Guitar Hero and Grand Theft Auto, and to avoid all vigorous exercise.  Participants were also encouraged to eat “casually” with sodas and chips topping the list of research-recommended foods.  In self-reported activity logs, some subjects spent as many as 8 hours per day battling virtual foes and rescuing fair maidens, while consuming up to 75 ounces of sugary caffeinated beverages.

Surprisingly, researchers found evidence that suggests playing computer games actually improves fitness levels. At the study’s conclusion, baseline fitness levels had risen a staggering 25% in three-quarters of participants.  Resting heart rates decreased by 30% or more in 15 game players and maximal oxygen consumption (V02 max) increased by 22% in 18 of the participants.  Reseachers dubbed the newly described phenomenon ‘Passive Exercise’.

The study’s organizers found the popular game Super Mario had the greatest impact on fitness levels.  Ken Thorgenberger, a self-described parafitness researcher, theorizes that “Mario just gets people going.  The running, the jumping, the dropping barrels…all that stuff amps you up.  Virtual gameplay, that is, the re-enactment of the onscreen adventure in people’s minds, triggers a profound physical response.  Heart rates increase, breathing deepens.  Add to that the massive amounts of sugar and caffeine these kids are ingesting and you can see they are really getting a workout”.

Physiologists remain skeptical.  Dale Buff, a personal trainer at that place next to Seven-Eleven on 82nd Ave. responded, “Keep your core super tight when you do those.  Deep breath, knees out and give me 10 good ones.”

School athletic programs have also taken note of the study results.  Coach Dale of Central High School voiced a popular sentiment: “You think I like being out here every day after school?  If I can keep the kids in shape by letting them play Super Mario instead of running laps that’s a win-win-win.  A win for me, a win for the kids and a win…..wait a minute, did I say win-win-win?  That’s three wins, hang on a second”.

Gamers in the study used popular gaming destination Dash.FM for their gameplay.  The site features over 1,500 free games from Super Mario online to Sonic and includes Pacman, Tetris, Space Invaders, Stickman games, Farmville, Asteroids, and hundreds of other free games.  Their popular game toolbar lets fans play tons of free games, listen to worldwide radio, and chat – all directly from their browser.

Category : Blog

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