Can video games really replace traditional exercise?

(Photo: CNN)
(Photo: CNN)

(CNN) - Playing a video exercise game may be fun, but is it actually good exercise?

A new study says maybe.

Researchers at Michigan State University looked at the results of 16 different studies to determine if active video games could provide the same cardiovascular benefits as a traditional workout.

They found that video gaming systems like the Wii, Microsoft Kinect and the PlayStation Move are good to get people moving, but don't really pack enough of a cardio wallop to replace regular exercise.

The problem is that most games required "light-to-moderate" energy usage, while government agencies recommend "moderate-to-vigorous" activity for the best health benefit.

Researchers say the games are best for senior citizens, who can't maintain a high energy output and to psychologically motivate sedentary people, especially kids, to get moving.

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