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Louise Foley and Ralph Maddison

There has been increased research interest in the use of active video games (in which players physically interact with images onscreen) as a means to promote physical activity in children. The aim of this review was to assess active video games as a means of increasing energy expenditure and physical activity behavior in children. Studies were obtained from computerised searches of multiple electronic bibliographic databases. The last search was conducted in December 2008. Eleven studies focused on the quantification of the energy cost associated with playing active video games, and eight studies focused on the utility of active video games as an intervention to increase physical activity in children. Compared with traditional nonactive video games, active video games elicited greater energy expenditure, which was similar in intensity to mild to moderate intensity physical activity. The intervention studies indicate that active video games may have the potential to increase free-living physical activity and improve body composition in children; however, methodological limitations prevent definitive conclusions. Future research should focus on larger, methodologically sound intervention trials to provide definitive answers as to whether this technology is effective in promoting long-term physical activity in children.

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Amanda L. Snyder, Cay Anderson-Hanley and Paul J. Arciero

Grounded in social facilitation theory, this study compared the impact on exercise intensity of a virtual versus a live competitor, when riding a virtual reality-enhanced stationary bike (“cybercycle”). It was hypothesized that competitiveness would moderate effects. Twenty-three female college students were exposed to three conditions on a cybercycle: solo training, virtual competitor, and live competitor. After training without a competitor (solo condition for familiarization with equipment), participants competed against a virtual avatar or live rider (random order of presentation). A repeated-measures analysis revealed a significant condition (virtual/live) by competitiveness (high/low) interaction for exercise intensity (watts). More competitive participants exhibited significantly greater exercise intensity when competing against a live versus virtual competitor. The implication is that live competitors can have an added social facilitation effect and influence exercise intensity, although competitiveness moderates this effect.

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Wonjae Choi and Seungwon Lee

advantages of reducing age-related physical and cognitive deterioration, but it has a safety issue considering that it should be performed on water. Virtual reality is used to safely simulate natural motion ( Bohil, Alicea, & Biocca, 2011 ), ensure consistent and planned application of standardized

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Dustin R. Grooms, Adam W. Kiefer, Michael A. Riley, Jonathan D. Ellis, Staci Thomas, Katie Kitchen, Christopher A. DiCesare, Scott Bonnette, Brooke Gadd, Kim D. Barber Foss, Weihong Yuan, Paula Silva, Ryan Galloway, Jed A. Diekfuss, James Leach, Kate Berz and Gregory D. Myer

the perceptual-motor and neurocognitive challenges of interacting with a dynamic athletic environment. The advent of virtual reality (VR) technologies provides a means to overcome this limitation to assess motor pattern transfer to sport. VR allows athletes to be immersed in environments that mimic

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Rachel Proffitt, Belinda Lange, Christina Chen and Carolee Winstein

The purpose of this study was to explore the subjective experience of older adults interacting with both virtual and real environments. Thirty healthy older adults engaged with real and virtual tasks of similar motor demands: reaching to a target in standing and stepping stance. Immersive tendencies and absorption scales were administered before the session. Game engagement and experience questionnaires were completed after each task, followed by a semistructured interview at the end of the testing session. Data were analyzed respectively using paired t tests and grounded theory methodology. Participants preferred the virtual task over the real task. They also reported an increase in presence and absorption with the virtual task, describing an external focus of attention. Findings will be used to inform future development of appropriate game-based balance training applications that could be embedded in the home or community settings as part of evidence-based fall prevention programs.

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Chanel T. LoJacono, Ryan P. MacPherson, Nikita A. Kuznetsov, Louisa D. Raisbeck, Scott E. Ross and Christopher K. Rhea

new and more advanced rehabilitation techniques, one of which is virtual reality. The use of virtual reality is defined as a simulation of a real environment that is generated through computer software and is experienced by the user through a human-machine interface ( Holden, 2005 ). From a motor

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Courtney D. Hall, Carolyn K. Clevenger, Rachel A. Wolf, James S. Lin, Theodore M. Johnson II and Steven L. Wolf

The use of low-cost interactive game technology for balance rehabilitation has become more popular recently, with generally good outcomes. Very little research has been undertaken to determine whether this technology is appropriate for balance assessment. The Wii balance board has good reliability and is comparable to a research-grade force plate; however, recent studies examining the relationship between Wii Fit games and measures of balance and mobility demonstrate conflicting findings. This study found that the Wii Fit was feasible for community-dwelling older women to safely use the balance board and quickly learn the Wii Fit games. The Ski Slalom game scores were strongly correlated with several balance and mobility measures, whereas Table Tilt game scores were not. Based on these findings, the Ski Slalom game may have utility in the evaluation of balance problems in community-dwelling older adults.

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Marie-Jasmine Lalonde-Parsi and Anouk Lamontagne

Whether a reduced perception of self-motion contributes to poor walking speed adaptations in older adults is unknown. In this study, speed discrimination thresholds (perceptual task) and walking speed adaptations (walking task) were compared between young (19–27 years) and young-old individuals (63–74 years), and the relationship between the performance on the two tasks was examined. Participants were evaluated while viewing a virtual corridor in a helmet-mounted display. Speed discrimination thresholds were determined using a staircase procedure. Walking speed modulation was assessed on a self-paced treadmill while exposed to different self-motion speeds ranging from 0.25 to 2 times the participants’ comfortable speed. For each speed, participants were instructed to match the self-motion speed described by the moving corridor. On the walking task, participants displayed smaller walking speed errors at comfortable walking speeds compared with slower of faster speeds. The young-old adults presented larger speed discrimination thresholds (perceptual experiment) and larger walking speed errors (walking experiment) compared with young adults. Larger walking speed errors were associated with higher discrimination thresholds. The enhanced performance on the walking task at comfortable speed suggests that intersensory calibration processes are influenced by experience, hence optimized for frequently encountered conditions. The altered performance of the young-old adults on the perceptual and walking tasks, as well as the relationship observed between the two tasks, suggest that a poor perception of visual motion information may contribute to the poor walking speed adaptations that arise with aging.

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Anson B. Rosenfeldt, Amanda L. Penko, Andrew S. Bazyk, Matthew C. Streicher, Tanujit Dey and Jay L. Alberts

by 120 s. Self-Paced Treadmill Walking Self-paced treadmill walking was completed using the Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment system (Motekforce Link, Amsterdam, The Netherlands). The Computer Assisted Rehabilitation Environment system is a multisensory virtual reality system with a fully

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Anat V. Lubetzky, Bryan D. Hujsak, Gene Fu and Ken Perlin

are limited to the research laboratory setting and cannot be utilized in the clinic. Recent advances in virtual reality (VR) technology such as the Oculus Rift (Oculus VR, LLC; Menlo Park, CA) and the HTC Vive (HTC Corporation, New Taipei City, Taiwan) could potentially help identify movement patterns