Active and non-active video gaming among Dutch adolescents: who plays and how much?

J Sci Med Sport. 2014 Nov;17(6):597-601. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2013.10.250. Epub 2013 Nov 9.


Objectives: The aim of study was to determine prevalence and identify demographic correlates of active and non-active gaming among adolescents.

Design: Cross-sectional.

Methods: A survey, assessing game behavior and correlates, was conducted among adolescents (12-16 years, n = 373), recruited via schools. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to examine demographic correlates of active gaming (≥ 1 h per week) and non-active gaming (>7h per week).

Results: Of all participants (n=373), 3% reported to play exclusively active games, 40% active games and non-active games, 40% exclusively non-active games, and 17% not playing video games at all. Active gaming adolescents played active games on average on 1.5 (sd = 1.2) days per school week for 36 (sd = 32.9)min and 1 (sd = 0.54) day per weekend for 42 (sd = 36.5)min. Non-active gaming adolescents played on average on 3.3 (sd = 1.6) days per school week for 65 (sd = 46.0)min and 1.4 (sd = 0.65) days per weekend for 80 (sd = 50.8)min. Adolescents attending lower levels of education were more likely to play active games ≥ 1 h per week than adolescents attending higher educational levels. Boys and older adolescents were more likely to play non-active games >7h per week, than girls or younger adolescents.

Conclusions: Many adolescents play active games, especially those following a lower educational level, but time spent in this activity is relatively low compared to non-active gaming. To be feasible as a public health strategy, active gaming interventions should achieve more time is spent on active gaming at the expense of non-active gaming.

Keywords: Adolescent; Demography; Exergames; Physical activity; Sedentary lifestyle; Video games.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Video Games / statistics & numerical data*