Energy Expended Playing Video Console Games: An Opportunity to Increase Children’s Physical Activity?

in Pediatric Exercise Science
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This study sought to quantify the energy expenditure and physical activity associated with playing the “new generation” active and nonactive console-based video games in 21 children ages 10–14 years. Energy expenditure (kcal) derived from oxygen consumption (VO2) was continuously assessed while children played nonactive and active console video games. Physical activity was assessed continuously using the Actigraph accelerometer. Significant (p < .001) increases from baseline were found for energy expenditure (129–400%), heart rate (43–84%), and activity counts (122–1,288 versus 0–23) when playing the active console video games. Playing active console video games over short periods of time is similar in intensity to light to moderate traditional physical activities such as walking, skipping, and jogging.

Maddison, Mhurchu, Jull, Jiang, and Rodgers are with the Clinical Trials Research Unit, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. Prapavessis is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada.