Family exergaming: correlates and preferences




Rhodes, Ryan E.
Nwachukwu, Nnenna
Quinlan, Alison

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Games for Health Journal


Objectives: The family home is an important environment for reducing sedentary behavior and increasing physical activity. Exergames are gaining attention as a possible modality for increasing energy expenditure within the home setting. The purpose of this study was to explore the use, correlates, and preferences of family exergaming. Methods: An online survey of exergame preferences, social cognition (theory of planned behavior) and behaviors that parents perceive as displaced during exergaming was conducted among a representative sample of 483 Canadian parents with a child between the ages of 6-14 years of age who own a videogame platform in their family home. Results: Three quarters of parents indicated that they played exergames with their children but play time averaged a single bout every second week (M = 29 min per bout). Parents overwhelmingly preferred to play sports and dance exergames with their children on weekends (80.1%) and during inclement weather (i.e. rainy =51.3%; snowy = 45.5%). Family exergame playtime was associated with intention, affective and instrumental attitudes, and descriptive norm. TV watching was reported as being the most common activity that exergames would displace (64.1%). Discussion: Findings suggest that exergames could be a potentially viable option for family physical activity especially during bad weather and on weekends to help increase total physical activity. Intervention efforts could benefit from promoting the social aspects of family exergaming and attitudinal factors.


We acknowledge Clarise Lim for the hard work of data collection.



Rhodes, R. E., Nwachukwu, N., & Quinlan, A. (2018). Family exergaming: correlates and preferences. Games for Health Journal, 7(3), 188-196.