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Table 2 Intervention and Control Characteristics, Outcomes, Follow-up Time Points and Key Findings for Studies Investigating the Effects of Active Video Games

From: A systematic review to assess the effectiveness of technology-based interventions to address obesity in children

Authors & yearInterventionsIntervention intensity & durationAll outcomesFollow-up time pointsKey findingsWeight-related outcomesBetween group mean differenceP-value*
(95% CI)
Adamo et al., 20101) GameBike - interactive video game and stationary cycling
2) Stationary cycling to music
Twice weekly 60-min sessions for 10 weeks1) Exercise adherence and behaviour
2) Aerobic fitness
3) Body composition
4) Metabolic profile
5) Diet
Post treatment- The music group attended a statistically significantly higher percentage of sessions compared to the video game group (92 vs. 86, p < 0.05)
- Minutes spent at vigorous intensity (24.9 ± 20 vs. 13.7 ± 12.8, p < 0.05) and average distance (km) pedalled per session (12.5 ± 2.8 vs. 10.2 ± 2.2, p < 0.05) were statistically significantly greater in the music group
- No difference in all other outcomes between groups
- Both groups had a statistically significant reduction in peak HR, an improvement in peak workload and a reduction in time to exhaustion from pre to post intervention (p < 0.05)
BMI (kg/m2)−3.9 (− 11.1, 3.3)0.3
BMI percentile- 0.3 (− 1.89, 1.29)0.74
Body weight (kg)−13.1 (− 30.52, 4.32)0.15
WC (cm)−4.3 (− 16.46, 7.86)0.53
% BF1.4 (−6.24, 9.04)0.72
Maddison et al., 0111) Active video games
2) Sedentary video games
Children were encouraged to play for 60 min most days of the week, for a period of 24 week1)Weight
2) BMI
3) BMI z-score
4) % BF
5) WC
6)PA
7) Cardiorespiratory fitness
8) Video game play
9) Food snacking
12 and 24 weeksAt 24 weeks, statistically significantly more children in the intervention group than the control group had:
- decreased their BMI (−0.24, p = 0.02), BMI z-score (− 0.06, p = 0.04), BF % (− 0.83, p = 0.02) and body weight (− 0.72, p = 0.02)
- increased average daily time of active video game play (10.03, p = 0.0001)
- no difference in all other outcomes between groups
BMI (kg/m2)−0.24 (− 0.44, − 0.04)0.02
BMI z-score0.06 (−0.12, − 0.03)0.03
Body weight (kg)−0.72 (−1.33, − 0.10)0.02
WC (cm)−1.21 (−2.45, 0.03)0.22
% BF−0.83 (−1.54, − 0.12)0.02
Staiano et al., 20171) Group-based dance exergaming
2) Self-directed care control condition
Three 1-h sessions per week for 12 weeks1) Body composition: BMI percentile, BMI z-score, WC, %BF, regional BF, visceral and subcutaneous abdominal adiposity
2) Cardiovascular risk factors
Within 2.5 weeks post-intervention- There were no statistically significant group differences in any body composition or cardiovascular risk factor outcomeBMI z-score−0.01 (− 0.069, 0.049)0.74
BMI percentile−0.02 (− 0/78, 0.39)0.51
WC (cm)−0.04 (−3.37, 3.29)0.98
% BF−0.3 (−1.28, 0.68)0.55
Trost et al., 20141) Paediatric weight management programme plus active video gaming
2) Programme only
16 weeks
Intensity not stated
1) Daily moderate-to-vigorous and vigorous PA
2) % overweight
3) BMI z-score
8 and 16 weeks- At week 16, compared to the programme only group, the programme plus active video gaming group had statistically significant increases in moderate-to-vigorous (8.0, p = 0.04) and vigorous (3.1, p = 0.02) PA
- At week 16, both groups had statistically significant reductions in % overweight and BMI z-score but the programme plus active gaming group had statistically significantly greater reductions (−10.9, p = 0.02),(−0.25, p < 0.001)
BMI z-score−0.16 (− 0.19, − 0.13)< 0.001
Wagener et al., 20121) Group dance-based exergaming programme
2) Wait-list control group
3 sessions a week for 10 weeks:
1st session: 40 min
2nd and 3rd session: 75 min each
1) BMI z-scores
2) Self-reported psychological adjustment and perceived competence to exercise
3) Maternal reported adolescent psychological adjustment
10 weeks- Compared with control group, participants in the dance-based exergaming group statistically significantly increased in self-reported perceived competence to exercise
- Maternal report of adolescent externalizing and internalizing symptomatology also decreased from baseline to end-of-treatment
- No differences in BMI z-score within or between conditions
BMI-z score0.01 (−0.12, 0.13)0.87
  1. Abbreviations - BMI (kg/m2) body mass index (kilograms/meters2), WC (cm) waist circumference (centimetres), % BF percentage body fat, WHtR waist-to-hip ratio, HR heart rate, PA physical activity
  2. *P-values in bold are statistically significant at 5% significance level