This study compared the cardiovascular responses and energy costs of new and traditional screen based entertainments, as played by twenty 9- to 12-year-old children. Playing traditional electronic games resulted in little change to heart rate or energy expenditure compared with watching a DVD. In contrast, playing an active-input game resulted in a 59% increase in heart rate (p < .001) and a 224% increase in energy expenditure (p < .001) for boys and girls. The average heart rate of 130 bpm and energy expenditure of 0.13 kcal · min−1 · kg−1 achieved during active-input game use equates with moderate intensity activities such as basketball and jogging. Active-input electronic games might provide children with opportunities to engage with technology and be physically active at the same time.
Straker is with the School of Physiotherapy, Curtin University of Technology, Perth, Western Australia, Australia. Abbott is with the School of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.