Wii Active Exergame Intervention for Low-Income African American Obese and Overweight Adolescents

In this seven-month field experiment, obese and overweight urban high school students are assigned to (1) play the Wii Active exergame competitively after school with the goal of lowering their body mass index (BMI), (2) play the Wii Active exergame cooperatively in a team after school with the goal of helping each other reduce their BMI, or (3) have no access to the Wii Active exergame at school (control condition). The study examines physiological, social, and cognitive outcomes of participants in all three groups to determine whether those who play the Wii Active exergame are more physically active; lose more weight; have reduced BMI scores; develop more self-esteem; have more friends; and have better memory, attention, and other cognitive skills than those assigned to the control group. The study also examines whether competitive or cooperative game play influences these outcomes the most.

 

Principal Investigator
Sandra Calvert, Ph.D.
Professor
Department of Psychology
Co-Investigator
Anisha Abraham, M.D., M.P.H.
Associate Professor
Department of Pediatrics
Lead Researcher
Amanda Staiano, M.P.P.
Doctoral Student
Department of Psychology

News

Grantee Project Publication Title Datesort icon
Georgetown University
Wii Active Exergame Intervention for Low-Income African American Obese and Overweight Adolescents The Washington Post Wii in PE? If it Gets You Moving 01/26/2011

Publications

Exner, A. (2010). Impact of cooperative versus competitive exergame play on overweight and obese adolescents’ physical, socio-emotional, and cognitive health. Ph.D. dissertation, Georgetown University, United States – District of Columbia. Dissertation Abstracts International, 72(2).

Staiano, A.E., & Calvert, S.L. (2011, May). Exergames for physical education courses: Physical, social and cognitive benefits. Child Development Perspectives, 5(2), 93-98

Presentations

Staiano, A.E., Abraham, A. & Calvert, S.L. (2010, May). Improved executive functioning from Wii Active exergame play: A study and results. Paper presented at the 6th Annual Games for Health Conference. Boston, MA.

Calvert, S.L., Buijzen, M., Livingstone, S., Staiano, A.E., & de Droog, S. (2010). The obesity crisis: Tipping the balance in children’s energy intake and expenditure through media. Presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Singapore.

Calvert, S.L. (2010). Digital childhood: The search for a healthy media diet. Presented at the Conference on Human Development. New York, NY.

Calvert, S.L. (2010, June). The obesity crisis: Tipping the balance in children’s energy intake and expenditure through media. Symposium organizer, co-chair and discussant at the International Communication Association, Singapore. 

Calvert, S.L., Buijzen, M., Livingstone, S., Staiano, A.E., & de Droog, S. (2010). The obesity crisis: Tipping the balance in children’s energy intake and expenditure through media. Presented at the annual meeting of the International Communication Association, Singapore.

Exner, A., Papatheodorou, G., Baker, C.M., Verdaguer, A., Hluchan, C.M., & Calvert, S.L. (2009, April). Solitary versus social gross motor videogame play: Energy expenditure among low-income African American adolescents. Poster presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development, Denver, CO.

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Staiano, A.E., & Calvert, S.L. (2010). Wii Tennis play as physical activity in low-income African American adolescents. Presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the International Communications Association, Singapore.