Friday, May 4, 2012

Energy Expenditure and Enjoyment playing #Exergames (study)

What are the differences between #exergaming and sedentary gaming in terms of energy expenditure and enjoyment?  This is one of my main research interests but primarily in children and adolescents.  Unfortunately, Wii-Fit and DDR only increased metabolism 3 times above resting MET which is considered to be of low intensity level (3.1 MET) whereas in other studies, we've seen much higher levels including moderate and even some vigorous.

Exergaming Points 2 Ponder (P2P)
  • The sample was on 18-35 young adults but the 30-35 range seems a little high to be considered a young adult, no?
  • As in many exergaming studies, the genre, interaction, and user-interface are so different it is hard to really compare them.
  • Were all these participants novice users to all of the games?
  • Were the participants novice game players?
  • What level of motor (gross and fine) or musical skill did they have?
  • Their conclusion of finding "Less active but more enjoyable video games may be a promising method for decreasing sedentary behavior" is a little disheartening as the PA intensity levels are so low with these games - how much lower can they be yet still have an impact on reduced sedentary activity. Perhaps we should be supporting ways to adapt the enjoyable games to make them more vigorous without taking away from the game-play.

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Stephen Yang is a member of Education on Mendeley.

Click here to see previous post on Using Exergames in Schools

Purpose: Play of physically active video games may be a way to increase physical activity and/or decrease sedentary behavior, but games are not universally active or enjoyable. Active games may differ from traditional games on important attributes, which may affect frequency and intensity of play. The purpose of this study was to investigate differences in energy expenditure and enjoyment across four game types: shooter (played with traditional controllers), band simulation (guitar or drum controller), dance simulation (dance mat controller), and fitness (balance board controller).

Methods: Energy expenditure (METs) and enjoyment were measured across 10 games in 100 young adults age 18-35 yr (50 women).

Results: All games except shooter games significantly increased energy expenditure over rest (P < 0.001). Fitness and dance games increased energy expenditure by 322% (mean ± SD = 3.10 ± 0.89 METs) and 298% (2.91 ± 0.87 METs), which was greater than that produced by band simulation (73%, 1.28 ± 0.28 METs) and shooter games (23%, 0.91 ± 0.16 METs). However, enjoyment was higher in band simulation games than in other types (P < 0.001). Body mass-corrected energy expenditure was greater in normal weight than in overweight participants in the two most active game types (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Active video games can significantly increase energy expended during screen time, but these games are less enjoyable than other more sedentary games, suggesting that they may be less likely to be played over time. Less active but more enjoyable video games may be a promising method for decreasing sedentary behavior.

Lyons EJ, Tate DF, Ward DS, Bowling JM, Ribisl KM, & Kalyararaman S (2011). Energy expenditure and enjoyment during video game play: differences by game type. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 43 (10), 1987-93 PMID: 21364477

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