Virtual electronic game playing by children can be active

Leon Straker, Clare M. Pollock, Jan P. Piek, Rebecca Anne Abbott, Jemma L. Coleman

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The majority of children in affluent communities now play electronic games. This has lead to concerns about increased inactivity and the poor health sequelae. Traditional electronic games using gamepad, keyboard and mouse input have been considered sedentary, but newer virtual game interfaces require active movement. The physical activity demands of these active-input games are unknown. This study compared the movement, muscle activity, energy expenditure and heart rate of 20 children aged 9-12 years playing electronic games with traditional input devices and with a webcam motion analysis (Sony Eye Toy®) device. Usingtraditional input devices children were usually as sedentary as watching a DVD. In contrast, using the active-input virtual gaming device resulted in substantial increases in all measures. These results suggest playing traditional electronic games is indeed a sedentary activity and may thus exacerbate current trends for obesity and other inactivity related disorders. In contrast the new active input virtual technologies offer the potential of allowing children to enjoy playing electronic games without becoming more sedentary.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2008
EventAnnual Conference of the Ergonomics Society on Contemporary Ergonomics 2008 -
Duration: 1 Apr 2008 → …


ConferenceAnnual Conference of the Ergonomics Society on Contemporary Ergonomics 2008
Period1/04/08 → …


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