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: 5.73). 05/2006; 160(4):411-5. DOI: 10.1001/archpedi.160.4.411
Source: PubMed


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.

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    • "Moreover, it would be interesting to evaluate also the impact of other activities more enjoyable to children, such as street games and active video game playing, that have been recently proposed to increase energy expenditure (Lanningham-Foster et al., 2006; Wang and Perry, 2006; Warburton et al., 2009; Rauber et al., 2013). This information would help to know the impact of other forms of exercise on both PEH and stress reactivity in children; and therefore to better understand the role of different exercise strategies for cardiovascular health during childhood. "
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    ABSTRACT: The present study aimed to verify if blood pressure (BP) reactivity could be reduced through a previous single session of active playing when compared to sedentary leisure. Sixteen pre-pubertal healthy children participated in this study. After familiarization with procedures and anthropometric evaluation, participants performed three sessions in randomized order: 1) 30 min of traditional Brazilian games (PLAY); 2) 30 min of video game playing (DDR); and 3) 30 min of watching TV (TV). Each session lasted ~80 minutes, being 10 min of rest; 30 min of intervention activity; and 40 min of recovery. After recovery, the Cold Pressor Test (CPT) was used for the assessment of acute cardiovascular reactivity. Blood Pressure (BP) was recorded at 30 s and 1 min during the CPT. Analysis of variance showed post-exercise hypotension (PEH) only after PLAY, and that systolic and diastolic BP were significantly increased in all conditions during CPT. However, the magnitude of the CPT-induced blood pressure response was significantly less in PLAY compared to DDR and TV. The PEH observed during recovery and the reduced BP response to CPT following playing traditional games may be due its higher cardiovascular and metabolic demand as was indicated by the increased heart rate, oxygen consumption, and blood pressure. It was concluded that BP reactivity to stress may be reduced through a previous single session of traditional games and that PEH was recorded only after this exercise form. This benefit indicates a potential role of playing strategies for cardiovascular health in childhood.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014 · Frontiers in Physiology
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    • "Second, some of the games may have drawn more interest from the players than others leading to non-specific factors such as motivational differences rather than the properties of the game accounting for behavioral change. It is known that action video games are highly motivating and arousing [49], [50]. In contrast, games like memory matrix were repetitive. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Previous evidence points to a causal link between playing action video games and enhanced cognition and perception. However, benefits of playing other video games are under-investigated. We examined whether playing non-action games also improves cognition. Hence, we compared transfer effects of an action and other non-action types that required different cognitive demands. Methodology/Principal Findings We instructed 5 groups of non-gamer participants to play one game each on a mobile device (iPhone/iPod Touch) for one hour a day/five days a week over four weeks (20 hours). Games included action, spatial memory, match-3, hidden- object, and an agent-based life simulation. Participants performed four behavioral tasks before and after video game training to assess for transfer effects. Tasks included an attentional blink task, a spatial memory and visual search dual task, a visual filter memory task to assess for multiple object tracking and cognitive control, as well as a complex verbal span task. Action game playing eliminated attentional blink and improved cognitive control and multiple-object tracking. Match-3, spatial memory and hidden object games improved visual search performance while the latter two also improved spatial working memory. Complex verbal span improved after match-3 and action game training. Conclusion/Significance Cognitive improvements were not limited to action game training alone and different games enhanced different aspects of cognition. We conclude that training specific cognitive abilities frequently in a video game improves performance in tasks that share common underlying demands. Overall, these results suggest that many video game-related cognitive improvements may not be due to training of general broad cognitive systems such as executive attentional control, but instead due to frequent utilization of specific cognitive processes during game play. Thus, many video game training related improvements to cognition may be attributed to near-transfer effects.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2013 · PLoS ONE
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    • "However, there is emerging evidence that suggests computer use and video game play should not be classed as the same type of activity as TV viewing. Children's metabolic and physiologic responses to video game play have been found to be different from time spent watching TV (Wang & Perry, 2006 "
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we report some initial findings from our investigations into the Australian Government’s Longitudinal Study of Australian Children dataset. It is revealed that the majority of Australian children are exceeding the government’s Screen Time recommendations and that most of their screen time is spent as TV viewing, as opposed to video game play or computer use. In light of this finding,we review the body of research surrounding children’s engagement in Screen Time activities and the associated positive and negative effects. Based on existing evidence,we define two categories of Screen Time—Active Screen Time and Passive Screen Time. It is proposed that this distinction provides a more accurate classification of Screen Time and a more informative lens through which to consider the associated benefits and detrimental effects for young children.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · Australasian journal of early childhood
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