It is commonly perceived that playing video games is generally bad for your health.

But new research by a group of Dublin based scientists has found this is not always the case.

The team, led by Dublin City University (DCU) based researcher Javier Monedero, has discovered that people playing fitness-themed active video games are capable of meeting recommended daily physical activity levels.

The health researchers studied the physiological and psychological responses of a sample group of 23 sedentary young adults.

They randomly assigned participant to 30 minutes of either self-selected intensity of exercise, moderate intensity exercise, entertainment themed video games and fitness themed video games.

The findings show that those who took part in the active video games successfully reached the criteria for moderate to physical activity.

Enjoyment levels among those who took part in the active video games were also higher than among those who just carried out regular exercise.

The research, published in the journal PLOS ONE, concludes that active video games could form part of future physical activity recommendations as they may help in getting sedentary young people to exercise.

This in turn could help reduce levels of health related issues caused by such lifestyles, the academics say.

But the authors at the School of Health and Human Performance in DCU warn that not every active video game on the market will necessarily elicit the same result.

The study defined active video games as those which required the participant to get off the couch, and move. 

XBOX 360 Fitness Evolve was the fitness game that was used for the active trial and XBOX 360 Kinect Adventures was used for adventure trial.