Author(s): Epstein LH, Beecher MD, Graf JL, Roemmich JN
Abstract Share this page
Abstract BACKGROUND: Interactive video games are a popular alternative to physical activity in youth. One advancement in computer games are interactive games that use physical activity as a game playing controller, combining exercise and entertainment, or exertainment. PURPOSE: This study tested the reinforcing value and activity levels of interactive dance and bicycle race games in 18 overweight and 17 nonoverweight 8- to 12-year-old youth. METHODS: Reinforcing value was studied using a behavioral choice paradigm that provided children the opportunity to respond on progressive ratio schedules of reinforcement for a choice of either playing the video dance or bicycle game using a handheld video game controller or one of three options: dancing or bicycling alone, dancing or bicycling while watching a video, or playing the interactive dance or bicycle game. Reinforcing value was defined in relationship to the amount of responding children engaged in for either choice. RESULTS: Results showed the interactive dance game was more reinforcing than dancing alone or dancing while watching the video (p = .003), but there was no difference across bicycling conditions. Nonoverweight youth were more active when given the opportunity to play the interactive dance game than overweight children (p = .05). CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that children may be motivated to be active when given the opportunity to play an interactive dance game.
This article was published in Ann Behav Med
and referenced in Journal of Obesity & Weight Loss Therapy