Research Study Abstract

Physiologic Responses In School-aged Children While Playing Xbox Kinect Versus Normal Activities During Recess

  • Presented on May 29, 2014

Background: Previous research has shown that children are not getting the recommended amount of physical activity (PA) at school. This may be due to a lack of motivation, not having the opportunity, or not enjoying the activities available. Improving the PA levels during school can help reverse the trend of increasing obesity levels among children. Research has shown that interactive gaming systems such as Xbox Kinect promote whole body movements and elicit mild to moderate intensity PA that is enjoyable in young people.

Purpose: To compare the physiologic response, perceived exertion and enjoyment of children when playing Kinect versus participating in normal recess activities.

Methods: : 12 children (7-10 years; grades 3-5; 6 girls) participated in a Kinect and normal recess session. The sessions were at least 1 week apart and the order of sessions was randomized among the subjects. During the Kinect session, subjects played for 20 min. During the normal recess session, subjects participated in self-selected recess activities for the allotted time. PA (METs) and energy expenditure (EE) were measured for both sessions using Actigraph sensors worn around the waist. Heart rate (HR) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured before and after each session. Level of enjoyment was measured after each session using the Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale (PACES). A paired samples t-test was used to compare the outcome measures from both sessions.

Results: No significant differences were seen (Table 1)

Conclusion: Playing Kinect was comparable to playing outside with peers. When necessary, whole-body interactive video games like Kinect can be a viable supplement to outdoor activities for engaging children in PA.


  • Jessica B. Holder
  • Kristoffer L. Leamon
  • Elizabeth B. O’Leary
  • Elizabeth K. Bailey
  • Srikant Vallabhajosula


  • Elon University, Elon, NC

  • Sponsor: Stephen Bailey, FACSM

Presented at

ACSM 2014 Annual Meeting


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