My Topics

7 January 2014

Exergames as a Sport Activity in Schools

Keywords: games, North America, experiment, gaming, health, intervention, kids, obesity,

An article in Journal of Pediatric Health Care reports the impact of incorporating dancing exergames into traditional physical education classes. The study shows an increase in children's active time during physical education class and an increase in their use of exergames outside of school.  

Take aways

  • Incorporating exergames into the traditional physical education class increases children's;
    • active time during physical education class;
    • use of exergames outside of school.
  • However, it does not increase their:
    • enjoyment of physical education class; 
    • active time at home. 
  • Developers of physical education curricula could integrate exergames, as this could have a positive impact on children's active time at school. 

Study information

  • The question?

    Does incorporating exergames into traditional physical education classes enhance children’s participation and active time? 

  • Who?

    86 10- to 12-year-old (mean age: 11 years); 63% boys

  • Where?

    United States

  • How?

    At the start of the study children filled out a survey that revealed their overall time spent playing exergames and activity level and enjoyment during physical education class. Afterwards, they played the interactive dance games 'Dance Dance Revolution' or 'Just Dance' (i.e., music video games that require dance fast-foot movements) during their daily 30-minute physical education class for 6 weeks. Hereafter, they once again filled out the survey.

Facts and findings

  • Children were more active during physical education class at the end of the study compared to the start of the study.
  • However, their active time at home did not differ.
  • The number of children using the exergame 'Dance Dance Revolution' outside of school 12% to 26%. 
  • Children also reported an increase from 11% to 20% in their use of the exergame 'Just Dance' outside of school. 
  • Children's overall enjoyment of physical education class did not differ compared to the beginning of the study.