Metabolic and Physiologic responses to video game play in 7-to 10-year-old boys

Exercise and Sport Sciences Department, School of Education, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL 33124, USA.
Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (Impact Factor: 4.25). 05/2006; 160(4):411-5. DOI: 10.1001/archpedi.160.4.411
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT To examine the metabolic, physiologic, and hemostatic responses to action video game play in a group of young boys.
Comparison study.
Laboratory of Clinical and Applied Physiology, University of Miami.
Twenty-one boys aged 7 to 10 years.
Blood pressure monitored before and during game play and blood glucose and lactate levels measured before and immediately after game play. Measurements were continuously recorded throughout game play. Dependent t tests were used to compare measurements recorded at baseline and during or after game play. Effect sizes using the Cohen d were examined for comparisons.
Significant increases from baseline were found for heart rate (18.8%; P<.001), systolic (22.3%; P<.001) and diastolic (5.8%; P = .006) blood pressure, ventilation (51.9%; P<.001), respiratory rate (54.8%; P<.001), oxygen consumption (49.0%; P<.001), and energy expenditure (52.9%; P<.001). Effect sizes for these comparisons were medium or large. No significant changes were found from baseline to after video game play for lactate (18.2% increase; P = .07) and glucose (0.9% decrease; P = .59) levels.
Video game play results in significant increases in various metabolic and physiologic variables in young children. Thus, it should not be combined with television viewing for the evaluation of sedentary activities. The magnitude of change, however, was lower than that observed during standard physical exercise and below national health recommendations. As such, video game play should not be considered a substitute for regular physical activities that significantly stress the metabolic pathways required for the promotion of cardiovascular conditioning.