An examination of the pediatrician-prescribed gaming app-based exercise prescription: A pilot study


This study examined the effectiveness of a physical activity (PA) intervention among obese Hispanic children delivered by a free mobile phone game application (app) recommended by a pediatrician. A sample of 40 (age M=10.16[2.01] years) children participated in this pilot study. Pre- and posttest data were collected on participants' PA attitudes, intention, and objectively measured PA. The intervention was a game-based exercise prescription to engage in at least 20 minutes daily for seven days in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) delivered by their primary care pediatrician. The results showed a statistically significant decrease in sedentary time (SED) (t(26)=3.03, p=0.007, d=0.66) and an increase in moderate PA (MPA) (t(26)=3.19, p=0.005, d=-0.69), vigorous PA (VPA) (t(26)=-5.74, p<0.001, d=-1.25), and MVPA (t(26)=-9.09, p<0.001, d=-1.89). In addition, the study showed increase in PA attitudes (t(26)=-3.63, p<0.001, d=-1.10) and PA intention (t(20)=-3.13, p=0.001, d=-0.94) after the intervention. This study provides evidence that a mobile app gaming-based exercise prescription may help to engage obese Hispanic children in health enhancing PA.

Document Type



children, Hispanic, mHealth, physical activity, sedentariness, Treasure Dash, technology

Publication Date


Journal Title

JTRM in Kinesiology