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Exergaming: Comparison of On-Game and Off-Game Physical Activity in Elementary Physical Education

Craig Reynolds, Tami Benham-Deal, Jayne M. Jenkins, Margaret Wilson


The purpose of this study was to describe fifth grade students’ physical activity (PA) while playing a dance-based video game, Just Dance 4, and to examine the influence direct feedback about their performance had on their level of activity. Twenty-seven students in the 5th grade from an elementary school in the Rocky Mountain West participated. Participants wore a pedometer and recorded step count, PA, and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) while playing the game. Over 6 days of data collection, each participant collected on-game and off-game data for each song danced. Participants’ mean step count was 1,891.63 (SD = 435.3) per class. The difference of total steps taken between on-game (M = 345.61, SD = 78.8) and off-game (M = 313.82, SD = 78.6) was not significantly different, t(27) = 1.50, p = .1289. Participants were physically active for a mean of 15 min, 40 s (SD = 174.63 s) and MVPA for 9 min (SD = 210.39 s). Although no significant difference was found between on-game and off-game PA, participants mean step count equated to nearly 16% of the daily recommended steps. Engaging in Just Dance 4 allows children to achieve part of the daily recommended PA in a 30-min physical education class.

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physical activity; physical education; dance

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