It is not known if or how exercise behavior regulations (EBRs) relate to exergaming in adolescents. The study objectives were 1) to determine if EBRs differ between adolescents who do and do not exergame; and 2) among exergamers, to describe the associations between EBRs and exergame duration, intensity, and achieving physical activity (PA) guidelines.
This study was a cross-sectional analysis of data collected in mailed self-report questionnaires completed by 1243 students (mean ± SDage = 16.8 ± 0.5 years; 43% boys).
In girls, those who exergamed scored higher than nonexergamers on introjected (mean ± SD = 1.9 ± 1.0 vs.1.6 ± 0.9; P = .001) and identified (mean ± SD = 3.1 ± .0 vs.2.9 ± 0.9; P = .049) regulation. Exergame intensity was associated with identified regulation [OR (95% CI) = 2.2 (1.0, 4.5)], minutes exergaming per week was associated with amotivation [β (95% CI) = 0.4 (−0.0, 0.8)], and achieving guidelines was associated with external [OR (95% CI) = 3.7 (1.0, 13.4)] and identified [OR (95% CI) = 5.6 (2.0, 16.0)] regulations. In boys who exergamed, intrinsic regulation was associated with exergame duration [β (95% CI) = −0.3 (−0.6, 0.0)].
Girls who exergame may have partially internalized exergaming as a PA behavior. Boys may prefer other types of PA such as team sports or other more traditional videogames over exergaming or they may not view exergaming as PA.