Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Study: Exergaming shown as an effective tool for engaging PE Students

Research undertaken at the University of South Florida Active Gaming Research Lab in Belle Witter Elementary, FL, has been published in the Journal of Applied Behaviour Analysis demonstrating how exergaming may be able to motivate hard-to-reach kids in PE.

The study was lead by Victoria Fogel, MS in an Active Gaming (exergaming) room set up by Dr. Lisa Hansen in 2008, examining “inactive” children’s behavioral responses to exergaming. The data collected included the physical activity of the kids while using exergames in class and contrasts this with regular PE lessons.

The results demonstrated that exergaming produced substantially more minutes of physical activity and more minutes of opportunity to engage in physical activity than did the standard PE lesson. When exergaming the student showed an average of 9.2 min of physical activity per session, while in the PE class they achieved a lower 1.6 min average of physical activity.

The publication of this study adds to the evidence base supporting the appropriateness of using exergaming in the physical education classroom. Because many different exergaming activities were involved in this study, the results show the variety of the genre and the ability of exergames to engage kids. The study can be accessed via PDF download at The Exergaming Network’s wiki site, filed under Exergaming Evidence Base, here.

USF’s College of Education uses the Active Gaming Labs not only for research, but also to demonstrate modern, innovative physical activity approaches to future PE teachers, government departments, and health specialists. Representatives from The President's Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition recently visited the research facilities; click here for videos of the exergames in action.

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