Exergames have the potential to promote physical activity among children and adolescents. They also have other important benefits, but knowledge about other than the physical effects of exergaming remains thin.
To report the findings of a review of ten studies on the nonphysical effects of exergames on child and adolescent well-being.
A broad search strategy was employed to identify relevant studies in CINAHL Ebsco Host, Ovid MEDLINE, Psycinfo ProQuest, Eric ProQuest, Scopus and Cochrane Library. The search timeframe was from January 2004 to April 2015.
A comprehensive systematic review without meta-analysis was conducted on 10 quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods intervention studies. The quality of these studies was assessed following the guidelines of the Joanna Briggs Institute. The data were analysed using a narrative synthesis approach.
Exergaming was found to have some positive effects on self-concept, situational interest and motivation, enjoyment, psychological and social well-being, symptomatology and different learning experiences. However, two studies reported no effect on self-efficacy, and one study showed no intervention effect on self-esteem. The only follow-up study indicated that the enjoyment effect lasted for a few months.
Most of the studies reviewed found that exergaming had positive effects. However, more research evidence is still needed. In particular, there is a need for better-validated instruments and follow-up research.
Copyright © 2016 Nordic College of Caring Science.
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