Compared with traditional nonactive video games, exergaming contributes significantly to overall daily physical activity (PA) in experimental studies, but the association in observational studies is not clear.
Data were available in the 2011 to 2012 wave of the Nicotine Dependence in Teens (NDIT) study (N = 829). Multivariable sex-stratified models assessed the association between exergaming (1–3 times per month in the past year) and minutes of moderate and vigorous physical activity in the previous week, and the association between exergaming and meeting PA recommendations.
Compared with male exergamers, female exergamers were more likely to believe exergames were a good way to integrate PA into their lives (89% vs 62%, P = .0001). After we adjusted for covariates, male exergamers were not significantly different from male nonexergamers in minutes of PA. Female exergamers reported 47 more minutes of moderate PA in the previous week compared with female nonexergamers (P = .03). There was no association between exergaming and meeting PA recommendations.
Exergaming contributes to moderate minutes of PA among women but not among men. Differences in attitudes toward exergaming should be further explored.