Evaluation of the exertion and motivation factors of a virtual reality exercise game for children with autism

Samantha Finkelstein, Tiffany Barnes, Zachary Wartell, Evan Suma Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Children with autism experience significant positive behavioral and health benefits from exercise, though many of these children tend to lead sedentary lifestyles. Video games that incorporate physical activity, known as exergames, may help to motivate such children to engage in vigorous exercise, thus leading to more healthy lifestyles and reducing the likelihood of obesity. In this paper, we present a study of physical activity and motivation level for ten children with autism as they played an immersive virtual reality exergame that involved fast-paced full-body movement. Our results showed that most children, including non-verbal participants, were able to achieve vigorous activity levels, with several of them maintaining very high levels of exertion. Furthermore, the children reported high levels of enjoyment and indicated they would exercise more often if such games were routinely available. These encouraging findings suggest that exergames are a promising way to empower the families of children with autism with tools to help improve their child's health and quality of life.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages11-16
Number of pages6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes
Event2013 1st Workshop on Virtual and Augmented Assistive Technology, VAAT 2013 - Co-located with the 2013 Virtual Reality Conference - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Mar 17 2013Mar 17 2013

Other

Other2013 1st Workshop on Virtual and Augmented Assistive Technology, VAAT 2013 - Co-located with the 2013 Virtual Reality Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL
Period3/17/133/17/13

Keywords

  • Exergames
  • Serious games
  • Virtual reality
  • autism

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