n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Can dance exergaming contribute to improving physical activity levels in elementary school children?

Volume 19, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1117-4315


Physically active video games that involve dancing are being marketed as possible forms of group physical activity (PA) in schools. However, the efficacy of a group video game dance intervention for reducing sedentary behaviour is unknown. The purpose of the present study was to compare before-school group video game dance interventions to a running club on changes in sedentary (SED) and moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) time in 7 to 10-year-old children. For seven weeks, 88 subjects aged 7 to 10 years participated in a running club (RUN) twice weekly. For an additional seven weeks, subjects were randomly assigned to engage in a before school club and play Wii™ Just Dance (JD; n = 53) or Dance, Dance Revolution (DDR; n = 46). SED and MVPA time were assessed using accelerometry and compared to subjects with no intervention (NOPA; n = 45). Results indicated that MVPA time during the club meeting time was less in NOPA (5.2 ± 3.7 min.; p ≤ 0.05) than RUN (12.7 ± 11.4 min.), JD (9.6 ± 6.5 min.) or DDR (9.3 ± 4.6 min.). Total daily MVPA was not different between JD (118.9 ± 43.8 min.), RUN (105.1 ± 39.4 min.), DDR (94.5 ± 48.9 min.) or NOPA (95.8 ± 35.6 min.). The present study suggests that before-school running and group video game dance clubs increased MVPA compared to those who had no before-school PA. However, it appears that the children compensated for the additional PA by increasing SED behaviour throughout the remainder of the day.

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