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Video gaming, physical activity and health in young people

Graves, L E F (2010) Video gaming, physical activity and health in young people. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Increasing physical activity (PA) and reducing the time spent sedentary can favourably impact health in youth. Active video games discourage sedentary behaviour by incorporating PA into video gaming, and have the potential for increasing opportunities for, and the promotion of, PA. The aims of this thesis were to a) compare adolescents' energy expenditure (EE) whilst playing sedentary and active video games; b) to examine the contribution of upper limb and total body movement to adolescents' EE whilst playing non-ambulatory active video games; c) to compare the physiological cost and enjoyment of active video gaming with sedentary video gaming and aerobic exercise in adolescents, and young and older adults; and, d) to evaluate the short-term (12 weeks) effects of a home-based active video gaming intervention on children's habitual PA and sedentary time, behaviour preferences, and, body composition, with a mid-test analysis incorporated at 6 weeks. The first three studies were cross-sectional. They revealed that active video games significantly increased PA and EE compared with sedentary video games in adolescents. These increases were typically of insufficient intensity though to contribute towards recommendations for daily PA in youth, and were less than those observed for authentic sports and brisk treadmill walking and treadmill jogging. Nevertheless, active video games encouraged PA and discouraged sedentary behaviour compared to sedentary equivalents. Further, similar physiological responses observed between adolescents and adults in study three provided support for the promotion of active rather than sedentary video gaming throughout the lifecourse. Greater enjoyment of active video games compared to a sedentary video game and brisk treadmill walking and treadmill jogging suggested that active video games may be an enjoyable mode of entertainment for young people and adults. The methodologically-focused study two revealed that the best single measure for explaining the variance in EE during active video gaming was a hip-mounted accelerometer. This was congruent with current recommendations for measuring habitual PA using accelerometers. Interestingly, using combined PA data from accelerometers placed on the hip and wrist similarly explained the variance in EE during active gaming compared to combined HR and activity monitoring. This provided support for the assessment of upper limb movements during non-ambulatory activities in adolescents. The intervention study revealed that a targeted increase in active video gaming and decrease in sedentary video gaming at 6 weeks did not positively affect children's PA relative to an age-matched comparison group. An increase in total video gaming was observed at 6 and 12 weeks relative to the comparison group, and this was accompanied by non-significant but detrimental changes in PA compared to the comparison group. These findings may suggest that an increase in time spent playing video games may be detrimental to PA in children. Rather than simply enabling PA by providing active video gaming equipment, interventions that consider the wide range of PA and sedentary behaviour opportunities available to young people in the home environment may be necessary to benefit PA and health. Further, the novelty effect observed for active video game use supports the call for the production of new active video games that attract children and sustain their interest.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2017 11:07
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 23:30
DOI or ID number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00005970
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/5970
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