Author

Mark E. Davis

Date Approved

2017

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Special Education

Committee Member

Phillip Smith, Ph.D., Chair

Committee Member

Jacquelyn McGinnis, Ph.D.

Abstract

In the United States, there has been increasing concern about the obesity crisis. A large factor in this crisis is physical inactivity, which may have detrimental effects on an individual’s health. Participation in physical activity is essential to preventing and reducing obesity and may positively affect physical fitness. Researchers have begun to look at a newer form of video gaming called active video gaming (AVG), which is a physically interactive video game that helps individuals stand up and move. The purpose of this research study was to examine what effects active video gaming has on physical activity and physical fitness of students with intellectual disabilities. Selected from an adapted physical education class, six participants between the ages of 19 and 22 years old with a moderate intellectual disability participated in the research study. For the study, on the first and last day, each participant completed a Pacer 20m fitness test, and in between the two tests, the participants participated in two 10-minute active video gaming dance sessions each day for 10 school days. It was hypothesized that students with intellectual disabilities would show significant improvement in physical fitness after dancing for 20 minutes per day for 10 school days using the Nintendo Wii AVG system. The results of a paired sample t-test indicated there was a non-significant statistical difference in the number of Pacer 20m laps completed from the pretest to the posttest, which suggest that the Nintendo Wii AVG intervention had little to no effect on the physical fitness of these six participants with intellectual disabilities. Further research on AVG should be done to see if it could be used as an effective instrument to increase physical activity and physical fitness for individuals with intellectual disabilities, thus improving their overall health.

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