Deborah F. Tate, PhD, Assistant Professor, Departments of Health Behavior and Health Education, and Nutrition, is interested in how our behavior affects our health. Sedentary behavior is one of the main contributors to decreased energy expenditure and is a contributor to being overweight. “Screen time”, or time spent watching TV or playing video games, is most often sedentary time. However, recent evidence suggests that playing some video games involves more activity than playing other video games. Dr. Tate and doctoral student Elizabeth Lyons, MPH, are conducting a research study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to document the amount of energy expended while playing various types of video games. This is an important issue since video game usage is widespread among young adults, and this period of life is associated with significant gains in weight contributing to obesity. This research will help to provide an empirical foundation to inform video game development in order to decrease sedentary behavior. Dr. Tate comments that, “the impact of obesity on the individual in terms of physical, social, and mental health is strong. We know that by helping people to lose even modest amounts of weight, they can achieve significant improvements in all of these areas of health.”



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