Sustained exergaming in adolescents


Introduction: Exergaming is increasingly popular among youth. However, the extent to which exergaming is sustained over time in a population-based sample of youth is not well documented. The objective of this study was to describe the frequency and correlates of sustained exergaming over 2-3 years in adolescents. Methods: Data were available in a prospective cohort investigation of 1,800 Grade 5 students recruited in a convenience sample of 30 elementary schools in Quebec, Canada in 2005. Data on past week exergaming were collected from 971 participants at age 14 years on average (in 2008–2009), and again when they were age 16 years on average (in 2010–2011), in mailed self-report questionnaires. Potential correlates of sustained exergaming were identified in separate multivariable logistic regression models. Results: Forty-three percent of 185 exergamers at age 14 reported exergaming 2-3 years later. Most sustained exergamers (88%) played up to twice a week at moderate to vigorous intensity. Sex (being female) and weight-related variables (trying to lose weight) were associated with sustained exergaming. Conclusions: Many adolescents who exergame report exergaming 2-3 years later, which suggests that in real life settings, exergaming may be a viable approach to help adolescents increase their physical activity, especially if they are female and actively trying to lose weight.

Acknowledgments: EO is supported by the FRSQ