The study began with 84 participants completing baseline assessment and being randomly assigned to the study. Six participants were dropped from the control group for the reasons shown in . Of the 78 remaining in the analyses, 41% reported being African American, 14% white, 13% Hispanic, 4% other, and 28% mixed ethnic heritage. Boys composed 51% of the sample. The average age was 11.3±1.8 years, and average BMI percentile was 81.7%. Sixty-four percent of children reported that the Wii console was kept in the living room, and 19% reported that it was kept in the child’s bedroom; 49% had a Play Station 2, but only 15% had a Play Station 3; 10% reported having an Xbox and 17% had an Xbox 360; and 58% reported having a TV and 36% a video game console in their bedroom.
Consort statement graphic of flow of participants through the study.
The average minutes of moderate to vigorous and light PA, sedentary behavior, and counts per minute for the treatment and control groups appear in . There was no evidence of treatment-control group, or treatment-control group by time differences in any of these variables over all, or at any time. There was a significant time-related difference in sedentary behavior in week 6, only. There was no evidence of moderation of these effects by neighborhood safety, child BMI z score, highest educational attainment in the home, family income, number of video games, or number of active video games in the home.
Average, SD, Median, IQR, Mean Difference, and 95% CI of Minutes per Day (Average for Each Child Across Days) for Treatment and Control Groups for SEDs, LPA, MVPA, and counts per minute
The interviews, diaries, and console records all indicated substantial active video game use. provides mean minutes for data consistently recorded each week in the diary and Wii console log, active and inactive, by treatment-control groups. Although it is clear that there was substantial crossover in types of games used, the time spent playing games opposite to that assigned (as shown in ) was small in comparison with the time spent playing the type of game assigned.
Mean, SD of Minutes per Day in Active and Inactive Video Games for Each Group Separately at Each Time Interval
Child responses to the interview questions were diverse, but indicated that children in both groups enjoyed the active video games, and this was comparable after weeks 6 and 12. What treatment group children “liked best” usually referred to specific PA in the game they selected, eg, boxing or bowling, but also included “didn’t have to go outside” and “doing activities that you wouldn’t normally be able to do.” When asked what they did not like, some reported difficulties with specific games, eg, “computer competitor would scream things,” “I couldn’t understand a character,” but there was also “didn’t have anyone to play with” and “didn’t like difficulty level.” What control group children liked best included “beating the high score/getting points” and “challenging.” Approximately equal percentages of children in the treatment and control groups reported playing each game with someone else (). Siblings (79% in both groups) were the most commonly reported coplayers, followed by parents (55%, 49%, respectively) and cousins (35%, 38%, respectively).
Frequency and Percentage of Responses to, “Did anyone else play this game with you in person during the last 6 weeks?” After the First and Second Video Games