Motivated but Not Active: The Dilemmas of Incorporating Interactive Dance into Gym Class

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) is considered a tool to help children promote a healthy active lifestyle. Empirical studies in this field have been largely unexplored. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships between students’ mastery experiences, situational motivation, and physical activity levels in DDR.


One hundred and ninety-five seventh, eighth, and ninth graders participated in a 2-week DDR unit. Students’ physical activity levels and situational motivation [intrinsic motivation (IM), identified regulation (IR), external regulation, and amotivation) were measured for 3 classes.


Students were motivated to play DDR, but their moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) was low (ie, mean = 4.95%). In addition, students with successful mastery experiences had significantly higher IM, IR, and MVPA.


Although students were motivated for DDR, they were not physically active in DDR. In addition, successful mastery experience played an important role in students’ motivation and physical activity levels in DDR.

Gao is with School of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota; Minneapolis, MN.

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