Effects of Body Mass Index on Children's Physical Activity Levels in School-Based "dance Dance Revolution"

Zachary Pope, Senlin Chen, Denis Pasco, Zan Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Objective: "Dance Dance Revolution" (DDR) (Konami Digital Entertainment, Inc., El Segundo, CA) has been recognized as an innovative approach to promote children's physical activity (PA). Previous works have described children's body mass index (BMI) status by group, but no studies have determined PA by category of BMI (underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese). Therefore this study's purpose was to examine children's PA levels in DDR across different BMI groups. Materials and Methods: Participants were 160 third through sixth grade urban children (79 girls; 115 white) who participated in a weekly 30-minute DDR program for 18 weeks. Children's BMI was calculated based on height and weight. Levels of PA and sedentary behavior in DDR were assessed by ActiGraph® accelerometers (ActiGraph, LLC, Pensacola, FL) for three sessions. Outcome variables were percentages of time spent in sedentary behavior, light PA, and moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA). Results: Approximately one-third (32.5%) of children fell into the overweight (n = 26) or obese (n = 26) groups. One-way (overweight/obese versus normal weight) multivariate analysis of covariance with DDR skill level as covariate yielded a significant group effect (F3, 154 = 4.02, P < 0.01). Follow-up tests indicated normal weight children accumulated significantly more MVPA (F = 8.94, P < 0.01) but less sedentary behavior (F = 3.27, P = 0.07) and light PA (F = 3.77, P = 0.054) while playing DDR than overweight/obese children. Conclusions: Overweight/obese children were less physically active than normal weight children during DDR. Consequently effective strategies are needed to stimulate these children to engage more actively in DDR experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalGames for health journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


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