Feasibility of Using Active Video Gaming as a Means for Increasing Energy Expenditure in Three Nonambulatory Young Adults With Disabilities

Academic Article


  • Objective: To examine the feasibility of adapting active video games (AVGs) for nonambulatory wheelchair users at functionally diverse levels and to examine these AVGs as a method for increasing energy expenditure (EE) for 3 young adults with severe (SEV), moderate (MOD), and no upper extremity limitation (NL). Design: Case study. Setting: Residential special education school for youth and young adults with physical disabilities. Participants: Two young adults with spastic cerebral palsy (SEV, MOD) and one young adult with spina bifida (NL). All participants were nonambulatory wheelchair users. Methods: Each participant performed Wii bowling and tennis and an adapted upper extremity version of a Dance Dance Revolution (DDR) game pad. Main Outcome Measurements: EE was measured through indirect calorimetry (VO2). Heart rate data were collected with the use of a Polar Heart Rate Monitor. Results: SEV and MOD participants showed a higher percentage increase in EE for the Wii games (SEV, 25.6%; MOD, 30.8%) compared with DDR (SEV, 10.8%; MOD, 29.1%), whereas the participant with NL had a greater EE increase for the DDR (173.5%) compared with Wii (59.5%). Conclusions: AVGs showed clinically significant increases in EE for all 3 participants and can be performed by nonambulatory wheelchair users ranging from those with NL to those with SEV upper extremity limitation with the appropriate adaptations. © 2012 American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Rowland JL; Rimmer JH
  • Start Page

  • 569
  • End Page

  • 573
  • Volume

  • 4
  • Issue

  • 8