Effects of active video games on body composition: A randomized controlled trial

Clinical Trials Research Unit, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Impact Factor: 6.92). 07/2011; 94(1):156-63. DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.110.009142
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Sedentary activities such as video gaming are independently associated with obesity. Active video games, in which players physically interact with images on screen, may help increase physical activity and improve body composition.
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of active video games over a 6-mo period on weight, body composition, physical activity, and physical fitness.
We conducted a 2-arm, parallel, randomized controlled trial in Auckland, New Zealand. A total of 322 overweight and obese children aged 10-14 y, who were current users of sedentary video games, were randomly assigned at a 1:1 ratio to receive either an active video game upgrade package (intervention, n = 160) or to have no change (control group, n = 162). The primary outcome was the change from baseline in body mass index (BMI; in kg/m(2)). Secondary outcomes were changes in percentage body fat, physical activity, cardiorespiratory fitness, video game play, and food snacking.
At 24 wk, the treatment effect on BMI (-0.24; 95% CI: -0.44, -0.05; P = 0.02) favored the intervention group. The change (±SE) in BMI from baseline increased in the control group (0.34 ± 0.08) but remained the same in the intervention group (0.09 ± 0.08). There was also evidence of a reduction in body fat in the intervention group (-0.83%; 95% CI: -1.54%, -0.12%; P = 0.02). The change in daily time spent playing active video games at 24 wk increased (10.03 min; 95% CI: 6.26, 13.81 min; P < 0.0001) with the intervention accompanied by a reduction in the change in daily time spent playing nonactive video games (-9.39 min; 95% CI: -19.38, 0.59 min; P = 0.06).
An active video game intervention has a small but definite effect on BMI and body composition in overweight and obese children. This trial was registered in the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry at as ACTRN12607000632493.

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Available from: Andrew Jull, Aug 21, 2015
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    • "Trials using digital games to increase physical activity have shown that a positive effect on body/mass index can be seen (Maddison et al. 2011). While studies show that the curiosity for digital games in educational context increases in Sweden (Brandberg 2010), the interest and participation in traditional sports have declined (Sköld 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Digital games have been introduced as educational tools in upper secondary education (Wiklund and Ekenberg 2009) and studies show signs of improved language skills for students playing digital games (Mitchell and Savill-Smith 2004; Brandberg 2010), but there are few cases where digital games are used for physical education, or exergaming. To explore former secondary school students' attitudes towards the use of digital games in physical education, a study was conducted. Survey findings were complemented through interviews aligned to the survey questionnaire. Results show that 59% of the respondents were positive to the concept of using computer games to aid physical education, while 40% claimed that it would not affect their attitude towards physical activities. The remaining 1% stated that it would reduce their motivation for physical education classes if exergames were introduced. Results showed no clear connection between individual interests and attitude towards exergames, except for those with a high interest in gaming showing a more positive attitude in general. Some variations in the attitudes towards different game genres were shown with stationary exergames being the most popular.
    ECEL‐2014, 13th European Conference on e‐Learning, Copenhagen, Denmark; 10/2014
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    • "Furthermore, the food consumed while playing videogames usually contains a high portion of fat and sugars (Coon, Goldberg , Rogers, & Tucker, 2001). The increase in habitual physical activity is undoubtedly one of the basic approaches for the improvement of body composition in children and youth (DeMattia, Lemont, & Meurer, 2007; Maddison, et al., 2011). Being aware of that, some manufacturers have developed active videogames with motion-sensitive consoles. "
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    ABSTRACT: Exergaming has become widely popular as a recreational activity at home and, following that success, new organized group programs are constantly being developed. The problem that emerges is the problem of the adequacy of exercise intensity for participants of different skill and fitness levels. Not many scientific studies investigated the physiological response of the computer-leaded interactive-dance performed in groups. That is why the aim of this study was to determine the physiological load level in children during an " iDance " class (" iDance " ; Positive Gaming™). Twenty-one subjects (11 female, 10 male; age 10.7±1.6 years) participated in the study. During the class, heart rate (HR), energy expenditure and the perceived exertion were recorded. The results showed that the mean HR during the class was 147bpm (70.23% of the estimated maximal HR), which indicated that the children exercised at the moderate intensity. Nevertheless, 22% of the overall interactive-dance time was spent in a high-intensity zone. The energy cost values were 5.1 kcal/ kg /h. In 86% of participants the activity was perceived as light and they reported being only moderately tired, which was encouraging from the motivational point of view as the measured physiological load was actually higher. In conclusion, we could say that, according to the estimated energy consumption and the exercise intensities recorded, the participation in " iDance " might elicit some positive changes in aerobic capacity. Also, it might be a useful tool in weight management in obese children, but further longitudinal studies are needed to confirm that.
    Kinesiology 09/2014; 46(1):66-73. · 0.33 Impact Factor
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    • "However, intervention studies interested in this new type of games did not find any significant increment of LPA or MVPA in AVG players [3] [4] [5]. Those observations are surprising since several trials also reported beneficial effects on body composition [5] [6] [7]. One may hypothesize that accelerometry data collected in these studies might have not been accurate. "
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Several active video game (AVG) intervention studies failed in showing an increase in physical activity by using accelerometry measurements. OBJECTIVE: To test the validity of accelerometry for monitoring AVG playing intensity. METHOD: Twenty-two adults performed 80 activities included in the Wii Sports and Wii Fit Plus series. The energy expenditure (EE) and subsequent MET values were measured by indirect calorimetry using metabolic chambers. Subjects wore an accelerometer-based monitor displaying MET values. For each activity, METs values obtained from indirect calorimetry and accelerometry were compared. Each activity was classified as light or moderate to vigorous physical activity (LPA: < 3METs or MVPA: >= 3METs) for the two methods. RESULTS: AVG intensities have been slightly but significantly underestimated by the acceleromater-based monitor compared to the indirect calorimetry (2.5 +/- 1.0 instead of 2.7 +/- 0.9 METs). Fourty percent of activities have been significantly misestimated, and 20% have been misclassified. CONCLUSION: Those results point out the potential bias of accelerometry measurements for evaluating AVG intensities. Because average AVG intensity lays at the boundary between LPA and MVPA classes, misclassifications can frequently occur. Accelerometry data should be interpreted with caution in intervention studies using AVG.
    Technology and health care: official journal of the European Society for Engineering and Medicine 06/2014; 22(2). DOI:10.3233/THC-140817 · 0.64 Impact Factor
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