This study was designed to examine the effectiveness of a combined exergaming and physical education (PE) program on children’s motor skill competence (MSC) and health-related fitness (HRF) as compared to traditional PE. A total of 261 second-and third-grade children (127 boys; 8.25 ± 0.66 years for male; 8.29 ± 0.74 years for female; 73.6% non-Hispanic white) participated in the nine-month study from 2012 to 2013. Children were assigned to one of the two groups: (a) intervention group (125 min of alternating PE and exergaming weekly); and (b) comparison group (125-min weekly PE). MSC was assessed via product scores in two locomotor and two object control skills. HRF included the cardiorespiratory fitness, musculoskeletal fitness, and body mass index (BMI). A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was performed to analyze the effect of the combined exergaming–PE program on children’s MSC and HRF. There were significant group by time interaction effects for BMI, p < 0.01, η2 = 0.20; musculoskeletal fitness, p < 0.01, η2 = 0.13; and object control skills (the comparison group demonstrating greater improvement), p = 0.01, η2 = 0.03. The findings suggest that the combined exergaming program can have a positive effect on children’s BMI and musculoskeletal fitness, indicating that exergaming can be an alternative school-based program to supplement traditional PE.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Active video games
- Cardiorespiratory fitness
- Locomotor skills
- Motor skill competence
- Musculoskeletal fitness
- Object control skills