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Purpose: This study examined differences in energy expenditure and bodily movement among children of different weight status during exergames that varied in mode and intensity. Methods: Fifty-seven 8- to 12-year-old children including overweight/obesity (n = 28) and normal weight (n = 29) played three 10-minute interval Xbox One exergames (Fruit Ninja, Kung-Fu, and Shape Up) categorized based on predominantly upper-, whole-, or lower-limb movement, respectively. The authors measured bodily movement through accelerometry and obtained energy expenditure and metabolic equivalent (MET) via indirect calorimetry. Results: Energy expended during gameplay was the highest in Shape Up (P < .01) and higher in Kung-Fu than Fruit Ninja (P < .01). Absolute energy expenditure was significantly higher in overweight/obese children (P < .01), but not when controlling for body mass across 3 exergames (P > .05). Based on the MET cut-points, overweight/obese children spent more time at light intensity (<3 METs) for Fruit Ninja (P < .05) and Shape Up (P < .01), but less time at vigorous intensity (≥6 METs) for Kung-Fu (P < .01) and Shape Up (P < .01). Lower-limb movements during Shape Up were less in overweight/obese children (P = .03). Conclusion: Although children in both groups expended similar energy relative to their body mass during gameplay, overweight/obese children spent more time at light intensity but less time at vigorous intensity with fewer movements especially while playing a lower limb–controlled exergame.
Hwang, Fernandez, and Lu are with the Health Technology Lab of the Department of Communication Studies, College of Arts, Media and Design, and the Department of Health Sciences, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA. Lee is with the Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA; and the Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA. Hillman is with the Department of Psychology, College of Science, and the Department of Physical Therapy, Movement & Rehabilitation Sciences, Bouvé College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA.