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The Influence Of Exergames During The Tennis Learning Process On Children's Visual Perceptual Skills

Introduction

Exergames represents a new form of physical activity that combines exercise and video gaming. The new video game generation consoles are able to track full body movements, measure reaction time and detect the speed of a player’s movement. In scientific literature exergames have been discussed to improve cognition in non-clinical populations, and significant effect were found in executive functions, attention and visuospatial skills. Since previous studies did not compare the improvement in visual perceptual skills after prolonged exergames playing and sport activity in real environment, we aimed to measure the effects of exergames playing on children's visual perceptual skills under the age of nine.

Methods

A total of fifty-five novice tennis players aged between seven and nine years, participated in a six-months tennis training process intervention. In addition, randomly selected twenty seven children played the exergames tennis at the end of each training session (twenty minutes per player). The Simon task was used to assess visual spatial skills pre- and post-intervention. A two-way RM ANOVA was used.

Results

A significant interaction was found in reaction time for both congruent (p˂0.001, η²=0,870) and incongruent trials (p˂0.001, η²=0,875). Participants in exergames experienced greater reduction in reaction times at post-intervention as compared to the control group (congruent: p<0.001, -15,4% vs. p<0.001, -13,6%; incongruent: p<0.001, -14,7% vs. p<0.001, -9,1%).

Conclusions

The exergames playing group showed greater progress in terms of shortening reaction time and in the number of right answers (not significant). Exergames may represent an alternative training tool to improve visual spatial skills.

Luka Šlosar

Slovenia

Uroš Marušič
Department of Health Sciences, Alma Mater Europaea – ECM, Maribor, Slovenia
Slovenia

 


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