In society, video- and computer games are often pointed out as risk factors in relation to physical inactivity and increasing levels of obesity. At the same time, computers are an important source of knowledge where IT-competence provides pronounced advantages in society. Now a new type of video games, exergames, has entered the market. In recent years, exergames are increasingly emphasized in several countries as a possible activity for use in school PE (Quennerstedt et al). Papastergiou (2009) argues that videogames can offer benefits for Health Education and PE, and that those games may improve young people’s knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours in relation to health and physical exercise.
The purpose of the present study was to explore Swedish PE teachers’ perceptions and use of exergames in PE and also the barriers and motives for using exergames based on a survey of fixed and open questions. A total of 493 teachers (10% of all Swedish PE teachers) answered the questionnaire. Responses were coded and entered into SPSS, allowing for both descriptive data and cross-table analyses.
The results show that 80 percent are familiar with exergames, 17 percent play in their spare time and a few (3%) have tried using exergames in PE. Motives for introducing exergames are generally: encouraging physical activity, offering different types of movement and to have fun. Barriers for introducing exergames are mostly: economic, prioritizing other activities and teachers’ own knowledge. The majority of the PE teachers have in general positive attitudes towards introducing exergames as a teaching aid in PE. However, this requires developing teachers’ own knowledge of exergames. Choices of teaching content and the introduction of new activities and teaching aids also involve critically examining the games, and this involves didactic reflection.
Papastergiou, M. (2009). Exploring the potential of computer and video games for health and physical education. Computer & Education, 53: 603-622.
Quennerstedt, M. et.al. (in review). Why do Wii teach physical education in school?
AIESEP World Congress 2014. International Association for Physical Education in Higher Education