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J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8(4), 469; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm8040469

Effects of Exergaming on Preschoolers’ Executive Functions and Perceived Competence: A Pilot Randomized Trial

1
Department of Physical Education, Shenzhen Polytechnic University, Shenzhen 518055, China
2
College of Health Sciences, East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301, USA
3
School of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 27 March 2019 / Accepted: 3 April 2019 / Published: 6 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology & Public Health)
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Abstract

Purpose: This study aimed to evaluate the effects of a child-centered exergaming program and a traditional teacher-led physical activity (PA) program on preschoolers’ executive functions and perceived competence. Methods: Sixty children aged 4–5 years from an urban childcare center in China completed an 8-week exergaming/traditional PA intervention. After baseline measurements of executive functions and perceived competence (i.e., perceived physical competence and social acceptance), children were randomly assigned to either an exergaming group or traditional PA group (30 children per group). Exergaming and traditional PA programs were offered 20 min/session by trained instructors for 8 weeks. Post-intervention measures were identical to baseline measures. Results: In general, children’s executive functions, perceived physical competence, and perceived social acceptance were enhanced over time. Analysis of variance revealed significant time by group interaction effects for executive functions, F(1, 58) = 12.01, p = 0.01, and perceived social acceptance, F(1, 58) = 6.04, p = 0.02, indicating that the exergaming intervention group displayed significantly greater increases in executive functions and perceived social acceptance in comparison with traditional PA children. In addition, children’s executive functions and perceived physical and social competence significantly improved from baseline to post-intervention. However, there was no significant difference in the increase of children’s perceived physical competence across groups over time. Conclusion: The results suggested exergaming to be beneficial in enhancing young children’s executive functions and perceived social acceptance compared to the traditional PA program. More diverse samples with a longer intervention duration in preschool children in urban areas are warranted. View Full-Text
Keywords: active video games; cognitive functions; perceived physical competence; perceived social acceptance; preschool children active video games; cognitive functions; perceived physical competence; perceived social acceptance; preschool children
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Xiong, S.; Zhang, P.; Gao, Z. Effects of Exergaming on Preschoolers’ Executive Functions and Perceived Competence: A Pilot Randomized Trial. J. Clin. Med. 2019, 8, 469.

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