"I Felt I Was Actually Inside the Movie" An Exploratory Study into Children's Views of Staging a Physically Active Experience, with Implications for Future Interventions

Emily Budzynski-Seymour, Michelle Jones, James Steele

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Current levels of inactivity suggest novel approaches are needed to engage children in physical activity (PA), and enjoyment is a strong motivator for children's PA engagement. A physically active experience (PAE) was proposed as a way to use entertainment, education, (e)aesthetics and escapist methods to promote PA to children in a way that is immersive and enables them to actively partake whilst enjoying their experience. In this current mixed methods study, three physically active experiences based on popular children's movies were designed and staged, in order to explore children's views on staging a PAE and provide implications for future PA interventions. Seventeen children (boys n = nine, girls n = eight) between the ages of nine and ten years provided feedback on the experiences. The children watched a pre-recorded video presenting the physically active experiences and then completed a survey including affective forecasting responses, which was followed by participation in an online focus group where views on the experiences were explored further. For all three experiences, the mean anticipated affective response for valence was between "fairly good" and "good", and for arousal between "a bit awake" and "awake". Further, when asked, the children reported wanting to take part in the experiences (experience 1: 82.4%, experience 2: 76.5%, experience 3: 64.7%). The qualitative data revealed that children felt that they would enjoy the sessions, feel immersed in their environment, transported away from reality, and that they would be able to learn something new regarding PA. These results support the implementation of a PAE to engage children in enjoyable PA; future interventions should use these findings to engage children in a PAE, examining their actual responses to the activities.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2023

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