"Dance Dance Revolution" Used by 7- and 8-Year-Olds to Boost Physical Activity: Is Coaching Necessary for Adherence to an Exercise Prescription?

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Journal Title

Games Health J

MeSH Headings

Dancing, Mentoring, Exercise, Exercise Therapy, Dietary Supplements, Motor Vehicles


OBJECTIVE: To increase opportunities for physical activity (PA) for children in children's homes, we used a "Dance Dance Revolution" (DDR) (Konami of America, Redwood City, CA) coaching protocol for 7- and 8-year-olds.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: We randomly assigned youth to either an Enhanced (coaching) or Basic (no coaching) group. A DDR prescription of 120 minutes/week was provided to 40 children. Motor learning principles guided the coaching protocol, provided by adult graduate students, which took place weekly during weeks 1-5. PA was measured with accelerometry, DDR logs, and Sony (New York, NY) Playstation(®)2 memory cards at baseline and at week 10.

RESULTS: Total accelerometer-measured PA was not significantly different between the groups at baseline or week 10; however, vigorous PA increased significantly in both groups at week 10. DDR logs showed a large range from 0 to 660 minutes/week of dance time. Respective playing time for each week (1 and 10) averaged 149 and 64 minutes for the Basic group and 184 and 47 minutes for the Enhanced group. Coaching significantly increased DDR use patterns in this population of youngsters during weeks 1 through 5 (P<0.001).

CONCLUSION: Adult coaching deserves further study to determine how to maintain high levels of participation in exergames for youth who live in an obesogenic environment.



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