Real Life Active Gaming Practices of 7–11-Year-Old Children

Susan Allsop, Penny Rumbold, Dorothée Debuse, Caroline Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


Objective: In the laboratory, active gaming has been shown to increase physical activity levels in children compared with seated media activities. The information is sparse, however, about children's real life active gaming practices, and the laboratory protocols used thus far might not be representative. The purpose of the present study was to establish the sociodemographic characteristics, real life active gaming practices, and reasons for gameplay, to later inform intervention studies. Materials and Methods: An “Active Gaming Questionnaire” was purposely developed and distributed to 44 7–11-year-old children and their parents. Forty questionnaires were completed and returned. Results: Analysis found 95 percent of the children had access to active gaming consoles “at home.” The favorite console was the Nintendo (Kyoto, Japan) Wii™, and the favorite game was Nintendo “Wii Sports.” The majority of children frequently played active games against other people. The average reported gameplay time was 81 minutes on 1–2 days per week, usually on a Saturday. More than half of the children (52.5 percent) consumed foods and/or drinks during play, which was significantly associated (P=0.000) with an extended average gameplay time (increased by 25 minutes). The majority of participants (65 percent) considered active gaming to be an alternative form of exercise, and main reasons for active videogame play included for entertainment, health benefits, and the environment. Conclusions: In conclusion, children 9.3±1.4 years old typically play Nintendo “Wii Sports,” once or twice per week for 81 minutes. Reported active gameplay time is extended by 25 minutes when food and/or drinks are consumed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-353
JournalGames for health journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2013


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