Examining young children’s physical activity and sedentary behaviors in an exergaming program using accelerometry

Minghui Quan, Zachary Pope, Zan Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Exergaming has been observed to be a viable supplemental approach in promoting physical activity (PA) among children. However, whether sex differences in PA and sedentary behaviors exist during exergaming is inconsistent. Thus, this study aimed to quantify, via accelerometry, young children’s PA and sedentary behaviors during exergaming as well as examine sex differences in these PA and sedentary behaviors during gameplay. In total, 121 first-and second-grade children (mean age = 6.89 ± 0.9 years; 73 girls) were included in the analysis. Children were a part of a large 18-week parent study. Children wore ActiGraph GT1M accelerometers during exergaming play, with four measurements purposively selected from the 28 total exergaming sessions to capture children’s PA and sedentary behaviors during exergaming play. Outcome variables included mean percentages of time spent in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA), light PA (LPA), and sedentary behavior during each exergaming session. One-way ANOVA was performed to determine whether there were differences in the percentage of time engaged in MVPA, LPA, and sedentary behavior during exergaming by sex. Accelerometry data indicated that children’s mean percentage of exergaming time spent in MVPA, LPA, and sedentary behavior were 19.9%, 32.9%, and 47.2%, respectively. However, no sex differences were present. Observations in this study indicated that boys and girls have similar PA levels during exergaming and suggests that features inherent to exergaming may assist in PA promotion among both sexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number302
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Volume7
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Keywords

  • Active video game
  • Light physical activity
  • Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity
  • Sedentary behavior
  • Sex difference

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