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Seniors can be tricked into exercising with video games, study might suggest


It doesn't take a research grant to figure out that exercise -- heck, just walking around the block once a day -- can have a dramatic effect on a person's well-being. The problem is that so-called "older adults," who are particularly prone to a mild but no less debilitating depression known as subsyndromal depression (SSD), are really just too bummed out to do much of anything. Here's where the grant money comes in: Dilip V. Jeste, MD, and his team of researches at UCSD gathered up 19 seniors diagnosed with SSD and had each of them play Wii Sports for 35 minutes, three times a week.

"The study suggests encouraging results from the use of the exergames," Dr. Jeste reports. "More than one-third of the participants had a 50-percent or greater reduction of depressive symptoms." Additionally, most participants claimed that learning to to play those darned vidja games was actually pretty easy -- even enjoyable. Uh-oh. Red flag!

You see, had Dr. Jeste continued his study, he might have found that his guinea pigs would soon discover that Wii Sports can easily be played with the slightest flicks of the wrist and, ah yes, it is nice to just sit back on the couch again, but, oh boy, this game is really getting boring, so let me just get on the dag blasted google and see what -- here we go -- "the best videogame right now," okay, the yahoo's answer says: World of Warcraft. Warcraft, eh? That certainly sounds better than bowling. Couldn't hurt to give it a quick gander ... click.

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