Association of exergaming with physical literacy in Canadian children

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Thomas, Matthew P. L.
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Kinesiology and Physical Education
Prolonged sedentary time in children and youth is associated with decreased physical fitness, motor competence and overall health. Active video games (e.g. exergames) have been suggested as a more active alternative to sedentary screen time. While there is research examining the effect of video game use on specific physiological outcomes, there is limited evidence exploring how they affect the development of physical literacy. This study examined physical literacy using Canadian Assessment of Physical Literacy (CAPL) self-report questionnaires from 317 eight to thirteen year old Lethbridge area children. Independent sample t-tests were used to determine differences between genders as well as exergame users and non-users. Multiple linear regression analyses were conducted to determine if a relationship was present between exergaming time and the overall physical literacy score as well as the individual domains (physical competence, knowledge and understanding, motivation and confidence, and daily behavior). A discriminate function analysis was used to determine if CAPL interpretation group membership could be predicted by weekly exergame use. Sedentary screen-based activities were inversely related to the overall physical literacy score (P>.001), whereas exergaming time was not significantly associated with overall physical literacy. Self-reported exergaming time was negatively associated with knowledge and understanding and positively related to motivation and confidence. Our results suggest that increased screen time, regardless of exergame use, is detrimental to overall physical literacy. However, exergaming has the potential to increase children’s motivation and confidence.
active video gaming , children , fitness , motor competence , physical activity , screen time , physical literacy , exergaming