Exergaming and obesity in youth: Current perspectives

Nan Zeng, Zan Gao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Although exergaming has been used as a physical activity modality among various populations, the evidence regarding its effectiveness on health-related outcomes in overweight/ obese individuals remains unclear. The current study systematically reviewed literature and summarized findings of exergame-based interventions in overweight/obese populations with the goal of clarifying the current perspectives on exergaming and obesity. The initial search yielded 202 articles from six databases; 12 studies were included after evaluating for inclusion criteria and removing duplicates. Among these studies, seven were randomized controlled trials, two were control trials, and three were comparison studies. Overall, exergaming has the potential to attenuate weight gain and shows promise when used for physical activity and physical fitness promotion. Further, exergame play is positively associated with psychological well-being, but its effects on physiological outcomes are inconclusive. Finally, effects of exergaming on energy intake are not clear. Existing evidence supports that exergaming may elicit some health benefits in people who are overweight or/and obese. The limited number of available randomized controlled trials, however, restrict the ability to draw a conclusion that exergaming can trigger a change in all health-related outcomes. More research is warranted to make definitive conclusions regarding the effects of exergaming on health-related outcomes in such populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)275-284
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of General Medicine
StatePublished - Aug 4 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Zeng and Gao.


  • Active video game
  • Children and adolescents
  • Systematic review
  • Weight loss


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