updated 1/16/2012 12:36:05 PM ET 2012-01-16T17:36:05

A Rhode Island hospital is investigating whether popular video games that make users jump, dance and exert themselves have any health benefits.

Researchers at Miriam Hospital in Providence say they want to know whether players of so-called "exergames" are more likely to increase their physical activity than those participating in standard aerobic exercises.

Lead investigator Beth Bock says existing research shows exercise video games can lead to the same positive health impact as traditional exercise. But it's unclear whether adults are willing to play such games often enough to see the benefits.

The project is being funded by a $2.6 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

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