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Exergames for Physical Education Courses: Physical, Social, and Cognitive Benefits


  • The authors thank the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Grant 66723) and the Georgetown Reflective Engagement in the Public Interest Grant for their support of our research in this area.

concerning this article should be addressed to Amanda E. Staiano; e-mail:


Abstract— Digital games combining exercise with game play, known as exergames, can improve youths’ health status and provide social and academic benefits. Exergame play increases caloric expenditure, heart rate, and coordination. Psychosocial and cognitive impacts of exergame play may include increased self-esteem, social interaction, motivation, attention, and visual–spatial skills. This article summarizes the literature on exergames, with a special emphasis on physical education courses and the potential of exergames to improve students’ physical health, as well as transfer effects that may benefit related physical, social, and academic outcomes.