Competitive Versus Cooperative Exergame Play for African American Adolescents' Executive Function Skills: Short-Term Effects in a Long-Term Training Intervention

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Exergames are videogames that require gross motor activity, thereby combining gaming with physical activity. This study examined the role of competitive versus cooperative exergame play on short-term changes in executive function skills, following a 10-week exergame training intervention. Fifty-four low-income overweight and obese African American adolescents were randomly assigned to a competitive exergame condition, a cooperative exergame condition, or a no-play control group. Youths in the competitive exergame condition improved in executive function skills more than did those in the cooperative exergame condition and the no-play control group. Weight loss during the intervention was also significantly positively correlated with improved executive function skills. The findings link competitive exergame play to beneficial cognitive outcomes for at-risk ethnic minority adolescents.

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