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Active Video Gaming and Children with CP

Physical Therapy has published research on exercise intensity levels in children with cerebral palsy while using active video games. Ten children with spastic cerebral palsy were age matched with their peers and participated for 40 minutes in 4 active video games – jogging, bicycling, snowboarding and skiing.  Heart rates were recorded as well as lower extremity motion analysis during the last part of jogging and bicycling.  The following results were recorded:

  • no difference between the groups for any variables
  • jogging game produced larger range of motion in the lower extremities compared to the bicycling game
  • more than 50% of the playing time for the jogging game and more than 30% of the playing time for the bicycling game were spent at an intensity greater than 40% of heart rate reserve

The researchers concluded that children with cerebral palsy were able to obtain exercise-related benefits similar to those obtained by children without CP while playing with an active video game console. Reference: Maxime Robert et al. Exercise Intensity Levels in Children With Cerebral Palsy While Playing With an Active Video Game Console. PHYS THER August 2013 93:1084-1091; published ahead of print April 11, 2013, doi:10.2522/ptj.20120204