Online games for children’s health

The benefits of a healthy lifestyle during childhood are difficult to overestimate and computer games represent a promising intervention to promote healthy lifestyles in children. The purpose of this pilot study was to examine the effects of online games for improving children’s knowledge of healthy nutrition and physical activity (PA) guidelines. Using an experimental design, we aimed to understand if children aged 7-9 liked this type of intervention, if baseline knowledge of PA or nutrition guidelines improved after playing one of two games, and beyond those of the control condition, and if one game was more effective than the other. Each intervention, including the control, resulted in positive change, showing an overall improved knowledge. The game with the greatest improvements was the more interactive game that gave feedback along the way. Our pilot study showed that games may be useful in promoting healthy lifestyles to children. Results from this study have been published on the Global Journal of Health Science.