In an effort to keep kids active, this holiday season many parents are buying their children (and themselves) games that keep them active while in front of the television. As gaming systems evolve into more player movement-based video games, there are unexpected health benefits — like sweating off the pounds while having a good time.

If anyone has attempted to keep up with Michael Jackson on Nintendo Wii’s Michael Jackson: The Experience, one undoubtedly would attest to the fun filled exercise the game gave her.

According to Huffington Post, recent research conducted at Michigan State University looked at 16 different studies to determine whether video games could provide the same cardiovascular benefits as more traditional forms of physical exercise. They found that gaming consoles like the Xbox Kinect, Nintendo Wii, and Playstation Move do help get gamers moving, but they aren’t as effective as more strenuous workouts in terms of overall fitness.

So this holiday season, it seems like virtual exercise will be the perfect gift for that sedentary person in your life.

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