The Physical Activity Energy Cost of the Latest Active Video Games in Young Adults

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Although promoted for weight loss, especially in young adults, it has yet to be determined if the physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) and intensity of the newest active video games (AVGs) qualifies as moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA; > 3.0 METs). This study compared the PAEE and intensity of AVGs to traditional seated video games (SVGs).


Fifty-three young adults (18−35 y; 27 females) volunteered to play 6 video games (4 AVGs, 2 SVGs). Anthropometrics and resting metabolism were measured before testing. While playing the games (6−10 min) in random order against a playmate, the participants wore a portable metabolic analyzer for measuring PAEE (kcal/min) and intensity (METs). A repeated-measures ANOVA compared the PAEE and intensity across games with sex, BMI, and PA status as main effects.


The intensity of AVGs (6.1 ± 0.2 METs) was significantly greater than SVGs (1.8 ± 0.1 METs). AVGs elicited greater PAEE than SVGs in all participants (5.3 ± 0.2 vs 0.8 ± 0.0 kcal/min); PAEE during the AVGs was greater in males and overweight participants compared with females and healthy weight participants (p’s < .05).


The newest AVGs do qualify as MVPA and can contribute to the recommended dose of MVPA for weight management in young adults.

Howe (, Barr, Kimble, and White are with the School of Applied Health Sciences and Wellness, Ohio University, Athens, OH. Winner is with Healthways, Columbus, OH.