Younger adolescents’ perceptions of physical activity, exergaming, and virtual reality: qualitative intervention development study

Nusa Farič, Eleanor Yorke, laura Varnes, Katie Newby, henry potts, Lee Smith, Adrian Hon, Andrew Steptoe, Abi Fisher

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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.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere11960
    JournalJMIR Serious Games
    Volume7
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2019

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    Exercise
    Interviews
    Reward
    Technology
    Costs and Cost Analysis
    Health

    Keywords

    • video games
    • gaming
    • exergaming
    • virtual reality
    • interactive games
    • physical activity
    • sedentary behaviour
    • health psychology
    • adolescents
    • behavioral research

    Cite this

    Younger adolescents’ perceptions of physical activity, exergaming, and virtual reality : qualitative intervention development study. / Farič, Nusa; Yorke, Eleanor ; Varnes, laura ; Newby, Katie; potts, henry; Smith, Lee; Hon, Adrian ; Steptoe, Andrew; Fisher, Abi.

    In: JMIR Serious Games, Vol. 7, No. 2, e11960, 17.06.2019.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Farič, Nusa ; Yorke, Eleanor ; Varnes, laura ; Newby, Katie ; potts, henry ; Smith, Lee ; Hon, Adrian ; Steptoe, Andrew ; Fisher, Abi. / Younger adolescents’ perceptions of physical activity, exergaming, and virtual reality : qualitative intervention development study. In: JMIR Serious Games. 2019 ; Vol. 7, No. 2.
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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.",
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    AU - Farič, Nusa

    AU - Yorke, Eleanor

    AU - Varnes, laura

    AU - Newby, Katie

    AU - potts, henry

    AU - Smith, Lee

    AU - Hon, Adrian

    AU - Steptoe, Andrew

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    N2 - 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.

    AB - 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.

    KW - video games

    KW - gaming

    KW - exergaming

    KW - virtual reality

    KW - interactive games

    KW - physical activity

    KW - sedentary behaviour

    KW - health psychology

    KW - adolescents

    KW - behavioral research

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    JF - JMIR Serious Games

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