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Journal of Obesity
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 438364, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/438364
Review Article

Exergaming as a Strategic Tool in the Fight against Childhood Obesity: A Systematic Review

1Collective Health Program, University of Fortaleza (UNIFOR), Avenida Washington Soares, 1321 Edson Queiróz, 60.811-905 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil
2Center for Application of Information Technology, Innovation Laboratory, University of Fortaleza (UNIFOR), Avenida Washington Soares, 1321 Edson Queiróz, 60.811-905 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil
3Center for Health Sciences-Physical Education, University of Fortaleza (UNIFOR), Avenida Washington Soares, 1321 Edson Queiróz, 60.811-905 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil
4Center for Health Sciences-Occupational Therapy, University of Fortaleza (UNIFOR), Avenida Washington Soares, 1321 Edson Queiróz, 60.811-905 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil
5University of Fortaleza (UNIFOR), Avenida Washington Soares, 1321 Edson, Queiróz, 60.811-905 Fortaleza, CE, Brazil

Received 11 January 2013; Revised 20 July 2013; Accepted 5 September 2013

Academic Editor: Reza Majdzadeh

Copyright © 2013 Carminda Maria Goersch Fontenele Lamboglia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Improper use of electronic media is considered a major contributing factor to childhood obesity. However, exergames, a new generation of active games, have made it possible to combine electronic entertainment with physical exercise. The purpose of this systematic review was to analyze the use of exergaming as a strategic tool in the fight against childhood obesity. Information was retrieved from the databases SciELO, LILACS, Pubmed, Ebsco, and Science Direct, using the search words “egames,” “exergames,” “exergaming,” “new generation of video games,” “active video games,” “energy expenditure,” “body composition,” and “physical activity” in English and Portuguese, covering the period January 2008 to April 2012. Nine articles met the inclusion criteria. Exergaming was found to increase physical activity levels, energy expenditure, maximal oxygen uptake, heart rate, and percentage of physical activity engaged in and to reduce waist circumference and sedentary screen time. Thus, exergaming may be considered a highly relevant strategic tool for the adoption of an active and healthy lifestyle and may be useful in the fight against childhood obesity.