SAN DIEGO -- A workout using Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) is comparable to many other aerobic activities and could result in significant weight loss if used regularly, according to research commissioned by the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

The research from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse focused on quantifying DDRs potential physical benefits by looking at the caloric expenditure data of 24 volunteers.

Led by John Porcari, Ph.D., FACSM, and Anna Norlin, M.S., male and female subjects, ages 12 to 25 years old, were recruited for the study. Half the volunteers were under the age of 18 and enlisted from the local La Crosse Boys & Girls Club.

Based on the physiological responses to three levels of DDR, all subjects showed a marked increase in exercise intensity as they participated. Adult participants burned more calories, which can be attributed to differences in body weight since the adults averaged about 25 pounds heavier than teenage subjects. On average, teens burned 5.9 kcal/min on light mode, 6.7 kcal/min on standard mode and 8.1 kcal/min on difficult mode.

All study participants, regardless of their experience with DDR, were required to practice a pre-determined four-song dance sequence for up to six hour-long practice sessions or until they could demonstrate proficiency. Testing included continuously monitoring all participants of their oxygen uptake, heart rate and ratings of perceived exertion.

For a detailed summary of the study as seen in the Sept. /Oct. 2007 ACE Fitness Matters, visit http://www.acefitness.org/cp/pdfs/FitnessMatters/Sept07.pdf.