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Adolescents' perceptions and attitudes about physical activity, exergaming and virtual reality: A qualitative intervention development study

Farič, N; Yorke, E; Varnes, L; Newby, K; Potts, HWW; Smith, L; Hon, A; ... Fisher, A; + view all (2019) Adolescents' perceptions and attitudes about physical activity, exergaming and virtual reality: A qualitative intervention development study. JMIR Serious Games , 7 (2) , Article e11960. 10.2196/11960. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Novel strategies to promote physical activity (PA) in adolescence are required. The vEngage study aims to test whether a virtual reality (VR) exergaming intervention can engage younger adolescents (aged 13 to 15 years) with PA. / Objective: This study aimed to gather adolescents’ views of using VR to encourage PA and identify the key features they would like to see in a VR exergaming intervention via interviews. / Methods: Participants were recruited through 2 schools in London, United Kingdom. Semistructured interviews were conducted with adolescents about their views on PA and what might work to increase PA, technology, knowledge and experience of VR, and desired features in a VR exergaming intervention. Data were analyzed using Framework Analysis. / Results: A total of 31 participants aged between 13 and 15 years (58% female, 62% from nonwhite ethnicities) participated in this interview study. The vast majority had no awareness of government PA recommendations but felt they should be more thoroughly informed. All participants were positive about the use of VR in PA promotion. Rewards, increasing challenges, and a social or multiplayer aspect were identified by participants as crucial aspects to include in a VR exercise game. Barriers were related to cost of high-end systems. Being able to exercise at home was very appealing. VR exergaming was viewed as a way to overcome multiple perceived social and cultural barriers to PA, particularly for girls. / Conclusions: Key elements that should be incorporated into a VR game for health intervention were identified and described. These also included the use of rewards, novelty and enjoyment in immersive game play, multiplayer options, and real-world elements, as well as continual updates and new challenge levels. The use of VR to promote PA in adolescents is promising, but some barriers were raised.

Type: Article
Title: Adolescents' perceptions and attitudes about physical activity, exergaming and virtual reality: A qualitative intervention development study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.2196/11960
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.2196/11960
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Nuša Farič, Eleanor Yorke, Laura Varnes, Katie Newby, Henry WW Potts, Lee Smith, Adrian Hon, Andrew Steptoe, Abigail Fisher. Originally published in JMIR Serious Games (http://games.jmir.org), 17.06.2019. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work, first published in JMIR Serious Games, is properly cited. The complete bibliographic information, a link to the original publication on http://games.jmir.org, as well as this copyright and license information must be included.
Keywords: exercise; obesity; video games; adolescent; adolescence; sports; health; leisure activities; virtual reality
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Health Informatics > CHIME
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10068917
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