Predictors of stationary cycling exergame use among inactive children in the family home




Rhodes, Ryan E.
Beauchamp, Mark R.
Blanchard, Chris M.
Bredin, Shannon S. D.
Warburton, Darren E. R.
Maddison, Ralph

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Psychology of Sport and Exercise


Objectives: Exergames may be one viable way to increase child physical activity, but investigation of long term motivation, and prediction of adherence has seen little research attention.The purpose of this study was to compare the effect of an exergame intervention (exergame bike standard bike) among children aged 10-14 years on motivational variables (self-determination theory, theory of planned behavior) and to explore whether these variables could predict use of the equipment across three months. Design: Randomized controlled trial. Method: Seventy-three insufficiently active children were recruited through advertisements within the community/schools and randomized to either an exergame condition (n = 39) or a standard bike condition (n = 34). Weekly bike use was recorded in a log-book and motivational variables were assessed after a familiarization session and at six weeks. Results: Exposure to exergames conferred higher affective and instrumental attitudes, perceived behavioral control, intention, and intrinsic motivation compared to the comparison condition, but this difference was not present by the six week point of the trial. Children who had higher intention to use the bikes and extrinsic regulation were more likely to use the bikes from six weeks to three months, but no assessed psychological variable could account for use during the first six weeks. Conclusions: Single-exposure research designs may not accurately reflect the motivations for longer term exergame play. Further, parent consumers of exercise equipment for the family home may benefit from considering how much their children would enjoy using the equipment after repeated exposures.


We acknowledge Cara Temmel and Kristina Kowalski for the hard work of trial coordination and data collection.


Physical Activity, Affective judgment, Theory of Planned Behavior, self-determination theory, Intervention, Family, Motivation


Rhodes, R. E., Beauchamp, M. R., Blanchard, C. M., Bredin, S. S. D., Warburton, D. E. R., & Maddison, R. (2019). Predictors of stationary cycling exergame use among inactive children in the family home. Psychology of Sport and Exercise, 41, 181-190.