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Effects of Active Video Games on Energy Expenditure in Adults: A Systematic Literature Review

Nirjhar Dutta and Mark A. Pereira


The objective of this study was to estimate the mean difference in energy expenditure (EE) in healthy adults between playing active video games (AVGs) compared with traditional video games (TVGs) or rest.


A systematic search was conducted on Ovid MEDLINE, Web of Knowledge, and Academic Search Premier between 1998 and April 2012 for relevant keywords, yielding 15 studies. EE and heart rate (HR) data were extracted, and random effects meta-analysis was performed.


EE during AVG play was 1.81 (95% CI, 1.29–2.34; I 2 = 94.2%) kcal/kg/hr higher, or about 108 kcal higher per hour for a 60-kg person, compared with TVG play. Mean HR was 21 (95% CI, 13.7–28.3; I 2 = 93.4%) beats higher per minute during AVG play compared with TVG play. There was wide variation in the EE and HR estimates across studies because different games were evaluated. Overall metabolic equivalent associated with AVG play was 2.62 (95% CI, 2.25–3.00; I 2 = 99.2%), equivalent to a light activity level. Most studies had low risk of bias due to proper study design and use of indirect calorimetry to measure EE.


AVGs may be used to replace sedentary screen time (eg, television watching or TVG play) with light activity in healthy adults.

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Parks and Health: Differences in Constraints and Negotiation Strategies for Park-Based Leisure Time Physical Activity by Stage of Change

Sonja A. Wilhelm Stanis, Ingrid E. Schneider, and Mark A. Pereira


Public parks are increasingly recognized as important places that facilitate physical activity. Despite the presence of parks, constraints to recreation and physical activity at parks exist. As the health benefits identified with physical activity require long-term and regular activity, it is important to examine factors pertaining to physical activity participation beyond initiation. This study explored differences in reported constraints to park based physical activity and negotiation strategies by physical activity stage of change.


Data were collected among visitors to one Minnesota state park via onsite and follow-up questionnaires.


The average visitor had a healthier weight than the average U.S. and Minnesota adult and the majority of visitors were meeting the physical activity recommendations (86.4%). Respondents in the inactive/insufficient stages were more constrained and used fewer negotiation strategies than respondents in the maintenance stage.


Results both support and expand on previous research findings. Specifically, this study supports research which indicates the adoption and maintenance of physical activity are influenced by different individual, social and environmental factors, and expands the research base by examining constraints and negotiation at different physical activity stages in a park setting. Implications of these findings provide directions for future stage-based intervention efforts.

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Life Events, Physical Activity, and Weight Loss Maintenance: Decomposing Mediating and Moderating Effects of Health Behavior

Kara L. Gavin, Julian Wolfson, Mark Pereira, Nancy Sherwood, and Jennifer A. Linde

Background: This analysis helps clarify the individual and joint effects of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) in concert with significant life events (eg, divorce, marriage, job change or loss, pregnancy, etc) on weight following a behavioral weight loss intervention. Methods: Data from the Tracking Study weight loss trial were utilized to perform a 4-way decomposition of moderation and mediation of life events (≥ 1 vs 0) and MVPA (low <2500 kcal vs high ≥ 2500 kcal) on 24-month weight. Results: The total effect of life events and MVPA on weight was estimated to be 1.63 kg (95% confidence interval = 0.30 to 2.96; P = .02). The controlled direct effect of life events on 24-month weight suggested that experiencing at least one life event controlling for MVPA was associated with an increase of 2.31 kg (95% confidence interval = 0.29 to 4.33) at 24 months. Other interaction and mediation estimates were not statistically significant. Conclusions: This analysis offers new potential for examining health behaviors that may act as both mediators and effect modifiers of health. Although more work is needed to understand the interaction of life events and MVPA on weight loss maintenance, findings help rule out mediation. Life events and MVPA should be considered for their unique effects on weight loss maintenance in the future.

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Are Correlates of Physical Activity in Adolescents Similar Across Ethnicity/Race and Sex: Implications for Interventions

Jonathan M. Miller, Mark A. Pereira, Julian Wolfson, Melissa N. Laska, Toben F. Nelson, and Dianne Neumark-Sztainer

Background: This study tested for differences in personal, social, and environmental correlates of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) across ethnicity/race in male and female adolescents. Methods: Self-reported MVPA and 47 potential correlates of MVPA were measured in an ethnically/racially diverse cross-sectional sample of adolescents, in Minnesota, who participated in EAT-2010 (Eating and Activity in Teens). Interactions of potential correlates with ethnicity/race on MVPA were tested in linear hierarchical regression models in boys and girls. Results: Boys reported 1.7 more weekly hours of MVPA than girls. White adolescents reported 1.1 to 2.1 more weekly hours of MVPA than nonwhite adolescents. Among girls, neighborhood road connectivity was negatively correlated with MVPA among Hispanic and Asian participants. Among boys, sports participation was positively correlated with MVPA among all ethnicities/races, except Asians. Home media equipment was positively correlated with MVPA among Hispanic boys, but negatively correlated among white boys. Conclusions: A few correlates of physical activity among adolescents differed intersectionally by ethnicity/race and sex. Sports participation and home media equipment may have differing impacts on physical activity across ethnicities and races in boys, whereas neighborhood features like road connectivity may have differing impacts on physical activity across ethnicities and races in girls.