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Jungyun Hwang, I-Min Lee, Austin M. Fernandez, Charles H. Hillman and Amy Shirong Lu

Purpose: This study examined differences in energy expenditure and bodily movement among children of different weight status during exergames that varied in mode and intensity. Methods: Fifty-seven 8- to 12-year-old children including overweight/obesity (n = 28) and normal weight (n = 29) played three 10-minute interval Xbox One exergames (Fruit Ninja, Kung-Fu, and Shape Up) categorized based on predominantly upper-, whole-, or lower-limb movement, respectively. The authors measured bodily movement through accelerometry and obtained energy expenditure and metabolic equivalent (MET) via indirect calorimetry. Results: Energy expended during gameplay was the highest in Shape Up (P < .01) and higher in Kung-Fu than Fruit Ninja (P < .01). Absolute energy expenditure was significantly higher in overweight/obese children (P < .01), but not when controlling for body mass across 3 exergames (P > .05). Based on the MET cut-points, overweight/obese children spent more time at light intensity (<3 METs) for Fruit Ninja (P < .05) and Shape Up (P < .01), but less time at vigorous intensity (≥6 METs) for Kung-Fu (P < .01) and Shape Up (P < .01). Lower-limb movements during Shape Up were less in overweight/obese children (P = .03). Conclusion: Although children in both groups expended similar energy relative to their body mass during gameplay, overweight/obese children spent more time at light intensity but less time at vigorous intensity with fewer movements especially while playing a lower limb–controlled exergame.