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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Sep;16(9):2074-80. doi: 10.1038/oby.2008.295.

A pilot of a video game (DDR) to promote physical activity and decrease sedentary screen time.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Center for Psychiatric Research, Maine Medical Center Research Institute, Scarborough, Maine, USA. malona1@mmc.org



We examined the feasibility of Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), a dance video game, in participants' homes, to increase physical activity (PA) and to decrease sedentary screen time (SST).


Sixty children (7.5 +/- 0.5 years) were randomized in a 2:1 ratio to DDR or to wait-list control (10-week delay). DDR use was logged, PA was measured objectively by accelerometry. SST was self-reported at weeks 0 and 10. At week 28, after both groups had access to DDR, accelerometry and SST were repeated.


Mean use of DDR was 89 +/- 82 (range 0-660 min) min per week (mpw). The DDR group showed increased vigorous PA and a reduction in light PA; the control group showed no increase in moderate and/or vigorous PA (MVPA) although they also had a reduction in light PA. Differences between the groups were not observed. The DDR group also reported a decrease in SST of -1.2 +/- 3.7 h per week (hpw) (P < 0.05), whereas the controls reported an increase of +3.0 +/- 7.7 hpw (nonsignificant). The difference in SST between the groups was significant, with less SST in the DDR group. Between weeks 10 and 28, numeric reductions in SST were reported in both groups. In the DDR group, SST at week 28 (8.8 +/- 6.0 hpw) was lower than baseline (10.5 +/- 5.5 hpw; P < 0.03).


This pilot study suggests that DDR reduces SST and may facilitate slight increases in vigorous PA. Further study is needed to better characterize children and contexts in which DDR may promote a healthy lifestyle.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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