Effect of active video games on healthy children’s fundamental motor skills and physical fitness: A systematic review

Wenxi Liu, Nan Zeng, Daniel J. McDonough, Zan Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Objective: The present study aimed to synthesize the most updated literature regarding the casual evidence of the effects of active video games (AVGs) on fundamental motor skills (FMS; locomotor skills and object control skills) and physical fitness among healthy children. Methods: Electronic databases were searched through October 2020. Peer-reviewed randomized control trials (RCTs) and quasi-experimental designs examining the effectiveness of AVGs on FMS and physical fitness development among healthy children (3–12 years) were screened. Results: A total of nine RCTs and one quasi-experimental study were included. Of the five studies examining the effect of AVGs on FMS, two reported significant improvements, while three reported no significant improvements in motor skills development as compared to control. Of the five studies assessing the effects of AVGs on physical fitness, four reported significant improvements in physical fitness such as balance, agility, and speed, whereas one reported significant improvements in skill-related executive function, but not in physical competence. Conclusions: Overall, the current available evidence supports AVGs as an effective means to improve physical fitness, such as balance, postural stability, and agility, among healthy children. However, the findings of AVGs on healthy children’s object control and locomotor skills remain inconclusive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8264
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Children
  • Exergaming
  • Locomotor skills
  • Object control skills


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