Objective: Active videogames (AVGs) that require body movements to play offer a novel opportunity to turn a traditionally sedentary behavior into a physically active one. We sought to determine the effect of a school-based AVG intervention on Chinese children's aerobic fitness, physical activity (PA) level, and PA-related psychological correlates.
Materials and Methods: Eighty 8-11-year-old Chinese children (55 males) were recruited from one Hong Kong primary school and were allocated at random to either an AVG intervention or control group. Children in the intervention group played an AVG, Xbox 360, twice per week during after-school hours, each for 60 minutes over 12 weeks in duration. The control group received no intervention. Children's body-mass index (BMI), objective PA, aerobic fitness (maximum oxygen consumption [VO2max]), PA task efficacy, barrier efficacy, and enjoyment were assessed.
Results: Compared with the control group, significant increases were found in the intervention group in VO2max [mean and 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.58 (0.74, 2.42) mL/(kg·min)], objective moderate-to-vigorous PA [6.73 (1.70, 11.76) min/day], and total PA [27.19 (9.33, 45.04) min/day], but not for BMI. No significant differences in PA task efficacy, barrier efficacy, and enjoyment were observed.
Conclusion: A 12-week (60 minutes × twice per week) school-based AVG intervention can improve Chinese children's aerobic fitness and PA level. These findings indicated that AVGs could be used as an alternative means to engage Chinese children in PA in school setting. However, the treatment effects of AVGs on PA-related psychological correlates and body composition need more investigation.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Health(social science)
- Computer Science Applications
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Active videogame
- Aerobic fitness
- Physical activity