Online Program

Physical Activity Changes in Exergames over Time

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 8:50 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.

Whitney Garney, PhD, MPH, Center for Community Health Development, Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, College Station, TX
Kenneth McLeroy, PhD, Health Promotion and Community Health Sciences, Texas A&M School of Public Health, College Station, TX
Introduction: One emerging strategy to increase individual physical activity levels are exergames. We conducted a longitudinal, exploratory study, investigating the physical activity benefits of exergame participation via a frequently played exergame called geocaching.

Methods: 1002 individuals enrolled in the study in January 2013 and tracked their physical activity while geocaching over a twelve-month calendar year (January 2013-February 2014). To analyze changes in physical activity over time and why these changes occurred, we used a Latent Growth Model. Dependent variables in the model were aggregated steps walked for summer, fall, winter, and spring. Independent variables were latent constructs representing enjoyment and gaming motivations.

Results: The model’s goodness of fit statistics were CFI=.98, NFI=.97, and RMSEA=.03, which all fall within the recommended values. Squared multiple correlations revealed that the enjoyment factor explained between 24%-95% of the variance and the gaming factor explained between 13%and 69% of the variance. Correlations between the observed variables and their respective factors were all statistically significant (p<.005). Correlations between the slope and intercept for steps walked over time show that the amount of steps walked was most influenced by and individual’s baseline.

Discussion: Our model showed that the intercept is more influential on steps walked overtime than slope. We can assert that the measures used to illustrate gaming and enjoyment are decent indicators of the latent constructs. Based on these findings, we can infer that the model is useful. The exergame of geocaching is a unique way to gain physical activity.

Learning Areas:

Biostatistics, economics
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe longitudial study to measure 1002 participant's physical activity overtime while playing exergames; Explain latent growth modeling analysis technique to analyze repeated measures; and Discuss project results and lessons learned

Keyword(s): Statistics, Physical Activity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted this research project and analyzed the data. I prepared this abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.