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Children's Use of Electronic Games: Choices of Game Mode and Challenge Levels

By Cindy H. P. Sit, Jessica W. K. Lam and Thomas L. McKenzie


Introduction. Interactive electronic games are popular and are believed to contribute to physical activity accrual. The purpose of this study was to examine children's electronic game use during conditions in which they had free access to selecting interactive and seated screen-based versions of electronic games and during the interactive versions had free choice in making adjustments to the activity intensity. Methods. We systematically observed 60 Hong Kong primary school children during two 60-minute game sessions while simultaneously recording their game mode choices and physical activity levels using SOFIT (System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time). Results. When given free choice, children spent more than half of their available time participating in interactive versions of games. These versions of games provided significantly more moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and greater energy expenditure than the computer screen versions. Children with the opportunity to modify intensity levels spent more time playing the interactive versions and accrued more physical activity. Conclusions. The tenets of behavioral choice theory were supported. Access to new-generation interactive games, particularly those with modifiable intensity levels, may facilitate children's participation in physical activity

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Hindawi Publishing Corporation
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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