Adolescents' Views on Active and Non-Active Videogames: A Focus Group Study

M. Simons, E.W.M.L. de Vet, S. Hoornstra, J. Brug, J.C. Seidell, M.J.M. Chin A Paw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


OBJECTIVE: Active games require whole-body movement and may be an innovative tool to substitute sedentary pastime with more active time and may therefore contribute to adolescents' health. To inform strategies aimed at reducing sedentary behavior by replacing non-active with active gaming, perceptions and context of active and non-active gaming are explored.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Six focus groups were conducted with adolescents 12-16 years old representing a range of education levels. A semistructured question route was used containing questions about perceptions and the context of gaming.

RESULTS: The adolescents had positive attitudes toward active gaming, especially the social interactive aspect, which was greatly appreciated. A substantial number of adolescents enjoyed non-active games more than active ones, mainly because of better game controls and more diversity in non-active games. Active games were primarily played when there was a social gathering. Few game-related rules and restrictions at home were reported.

CONCLUSIONS: Given the positive attitudes of adolescents and the limited restrictions for gaming at home, active videogames may potentially be used in a home setting as a tool to reduce sedentary behavior. However, to make active games as appealing as non-active games, attention should be paid to the quality, diversity, and sustainability of active games, as these aspects are currently inferior to those of traditional non-active games.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-218
Number of pages8
JournalGames for Health
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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