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Monna Arvinen-Barrow, Nathan Maresh and Jennifer Earl-Boehm

, while also providing the desired subtle and indirect psychological support, is through the introduction of active video games (AVG) as an adjunct to, or replacement for, traditional treatment modality during rehabilitation. Albeit conducted predominantly with elderly populations receiving balance

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Anthony Barnett, Ester Cerin and Tom Baranowski

Background:

A population level increase in physical activity (PA) is critical to reduce obesity in youth. Video games are highly popular and active video games (AVGs) have the potential to play a role in promoting youth PA.

Method:

Studies on AVG play energy expenditure (EE) and maintenance of play in youth were systematically identified in the published literature and assessed for quality and informational value.

Results:

Nine studies measuring AVG play EE were identified. The meta-analytic estimates of average METs across these studies were 3.1 (95% CI: 2.6, 3.6) to 3.2 (95% CI: 2.7, 3.7). No games elicited an average EE above the 6 MET threshold for vigorous EE. Observed differences between studies were likely due to the different types of games used, rather than age or gender. Four studies related to maintenance of play were identified. Most studies reported AV G use declined over time. Studies were of low-to-medium quality.

Conclusion:

AVGs are capable of generating EE in youth to attain PA guidelines. Few studies have assessed sustainability of AV G play, which appears to diminish after a short period of time for most players. Better-quality future research must address how AV G play could be maintained over longer periods of time.

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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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Nirjhar Dutta and Mark A. Pereira

Background:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusion:

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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Cheryl A. Howe, Marcus W. Barr, Brett C. Winner, Jenelynn R. Kimble and Jason B. White

Background:

Although promoted for weight loss, especially in young adults, it has yet to be determined if the physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) and intensity of the newest active video games (AVGs) qualifies as moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA; > 3.0 METs). This study compared the PAEE and intensity of AVGs to traditional seated video games (SVGs).

Methods:

Fifty-three young adults (18−35 y; 27 females) volunteered to play 6 video games (4 AVGs, 2 SVGs). Anthropometrics and resting metabolism were measured before testing. While playing the games (6−10 min) in random order against a playmate, the participants wore a portable metabolic analyzer for measuring PAEE (kcal/min) and intensity (METs). A repeated-measures ANOVA compared the PAEE and intensity across games with sex, BMI, and PA status as main effects.

Results:

The intensity of AVGs (6.1 ± 0.2 METs) was significantly greater than SVGs (1.8 ± 0.1 METs). AVGs elicited greater PAEE than SVGs in all participants (5.3 ± 0.2 vs 0.8 ± 0.0 kcal/min); PAEE during the AVGs was greater in males and overweight participants compared with females and healthy weight participants (p’s < .05).

Conclusions:

The newest AVGs do qualify as MVPA and can contribute to the recommended dose of MVPA for weight management in young adults.

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Erin K. Howie, Joanne A. McVeigh and Leon M. Straker

Background:

There are several practical issues when considering the use of hip-worn or wrist-worn accelerometers. This study compared compliance and outcomes between hip- and wrist-worn accelerometers worn simultaneously by children during an active video games intervention.

Methods:

As part of a larger randomized crossover trial, participants (n = 73, age 10 to 12 years) wore 2 Actical accelerometers simultaneously during waking hours for 7 days, on the hip and wrist. Measurements were repeated at 4 timepoints: 1) at baseline, 2) during traditional video games condition, 3) during active video games condition, 4) during no video games condition. Compliance and intervention effects were compared between hip and wrist.

Results:

There were no statistically significant differences at any timepoint in percentage compliance between hip (77% to 87%) and wrist (79% to 89%). Wrist-measured counts (difference of 64.3 counts per minute, 95% CI 4.4–124.3) and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) (12 min/day, 95% CI 0.3–23.7) were higher during the no video games condition compared with the traditional video games condition. There were no differences in hip-measured counts per minute or MVPA between conditions or sedentary time for hip or wrist.

Conclusions:

There were no differences in compliance between hip- and wrist-worn accelerometers during an intervention trial, however, intervention findings differed between hip and wrist.

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Eric J. Evans, Keith E. Naugle, Tyler Owen and Kelly M. Naugle

, 2013 ). Furthermore, prior research shows that younger adults typically enjoy active video games more than traditional cardiovascular activities ( Graves, Ridgers, & Stratton, 2008 ; Naugle & Wikstrom, 2014 ). Fewer studies have investigated whether active games could be a viable aerobic exercise tool

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Ashleigh Thornton, Brendan Lay, Michael Rosenberg, Joanna Granich and Rebecca Braham

This study sought to explore the type of fundamental movement skills (FMS) performed during Active Video Game (AVG) play, as well as the frequency with which these FMS are performed. In addition, this study aimed to determine the relationship between FMS performance and energy expenditure during 15 min of AVG play across two Microsoft Xbox Kinect AVGs. Fundamental movement skills were observed via video by two raters and energy expenditure derived using Actiheart monitors in children aged 10–15 years. Six different FMS were observed during AVG play with differences in the number of FMS performed between the two AVGs. The overall energy expended (Joules/kg/minute), however, was similar between the AVGs, suggesting the frequency of FMS did not influence overall energy expended during play. The movements observed during AVG play that possibly accounted for the energy expenditure, were not of a quality that could be classified as FMS. This research demonstrates that children playing these two games have the opportunity to repeatedly perform mostly two FMS, namely jumping and dodging. The goal of the AVGs, however, could be achieved with generalized movements that did not always meet the criteria to be classified as a FMS.

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Soo Hyun Park, Eun Sun Yoon, Yong Hee Lee, Chul-Ho Kim, Kanokwan Bunsawat, Kevin S. Heffernan, Bo Fernhall and Sae Young Jae

Background:

We tested the hypothesis that an active video game following a high-fat meal would partially prevent the unfavorable effect of a high-fat meal on vascular function in overweight adolescents.

Methods:

Twenty-four overweight adolescents were randomized to either a 60-minute active video game (AVG) group (n = 12) or seated rest (SR) as a control group (n = 12) after a high-fat meal. Blood parameters were measured, and vascular function was measured using brachial artery flow-mediated dilation (FMD) at baseline and 3 hours after a high-fat meal.

Results:

No significant interaction was found in any blood parameter. A high-fat meal significantly increased blood triglyceride and glucose concentrations in both groups in a similar manner. Brachial artery FMD significantly decreased in the SR group (13.8 ± 3.2% to 11.8 ± 2.5), but increased in the AVG group (11.4 ± 4.0% to 13.3 ± 3.5), with a significant interaction (P = .034).

Conclusion:

These findings show that an active video game attenuated high-fat meal-induced endothelial dysfunction. This suggests that an active video game may have a cardioprotective effect on endothelial function in overweight adolescents when exposed to a high-fat meal.

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Daniel J. McDonough, Wenxi Liu, Xiwen Su and Zan Gao

. Graf DL , Pratt LV , Hester CN , Short KR . Playing active video games increases energy expenditure in children . Pediatrics . 2009 ; 124 ( 2 ): 534 – 540 . doi: 10.1542/peds.2008-2851 19596737 31. Gao Z , Chen S . Are field-based exergames useful in preventing childhood obesity? A