Discouraging sedentary behaviors using interactive play

Mandryk, Regan and Gerling, Kathrin (2015) Discouraging sedentary behaviors using interactive play. Interactions, XXII (3). p. 52. ISSN 1072-5520

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Regular physical activity has many benefits, including to a person’s physical, emotional, and cognitive well-being [1]. Although adults should achieve 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity per week, only 15 percent of adults meet these guidelines in at least 10-minute bouts, and only 5 percent of adults meet these guidelines in at least 30-minute bouts on five or more days per week (see [2]). For children, the statistics are even more discouraging. Although kids should get 60 minutes of activity per day, only 7 percent of Canadian youth accumulate 60 minutes per day six days a week (see [2]). The exercise habits adopted by children and pre-teens during this critical period can have lifelong consequences in physical health and self esteem. To encourage physical activity, researchers and developers in HCI have created a variety of “exergames,” which encourage people to exercise by integrating exertion into the game mechanics (e.g., [3]). Many exergames have focused on providing intense physical activity for players and have been shown to yield sufficient exertion to obtain the aforementioned benefits to a player’s well-being.

However, recent work among health researchers has shown that there are also negative physiological consequences associated with sedentary behavior and that these consequences are distinct from those that result from a lack of physical activity [1]. Although this may seem surprising, physical activity and sedentary behavior are not mutually exclusive. Even if a person is physically active (e.g., biking to work in the morning), she can also be sedentary (e.g., by primarily sitting for the remaining waking hours); the effects of too much sitting are physiologically distinct from too little exercise [1]. The potential negative health outcomes are of particular relevance to populations who spend large parts of the day sitting, for example, schoolchildren who spend many hours a day sitting at their desks, and groups that struggle to gain access to opportunities for regular physical activity, for example, people with mobility impairments and older adults in long-term care.

Keywords:Human-computer interaction, Computer games, JCOpen
Subjects:G Mathematical and Computer Sciences > G440 Human-computer Interaction
Divisions:College of Science > School of Computer Science
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ID Code:17426
Deposited On:10 May 2015 19:15

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