West Virginia Games for Health

The Clinical Study

WVU researchers conducted a rigorous pilot study of students who played DDR on a regular basis. The results show that DDR is an effective tool in combating obesity, inactivity, and subsequent health problems associated with sedentary lifestyles. In the pilot phase of this research project, a study was conducted on 49 at-risk for overweight or already overweight children in West Virginia aged 7 to 12. The purpose of the pilot project was two-fold: (1) to assess the prevalence of endothelial dysfunction (the decreased ability of the blood vessels to dilate in response to increased blood flow, which is thought to be the initiating factor in both cardiovascular disease [CVD] and Type 2 diabetes) in at-risk and overweight children (2) to assess the effects of a 12-week home-based aerobic exercise program using DDR endothelial function and other risk factor associated with both CVD and type 2 diabetes in at-risk and overweight children.

Subjects who were assigned to the exercise group were trained on how to use DDR. They were asked to do DDR at least 5 times a week for 30 minutes or longer. Subjects were asked to log daily activity, DDR time, step per day, and screen-time (other than DDR) each day. Subjects were asked to send activity logs into the Games for Health office at the end of the week, and Games for Health staff made phone-coaching calls to encourage continued participation at least one time per week. The preliminary findings of this study indicate that the use of DDR as an exercise modality has positive effects on the health profile over at-risk and overweight children who have endothelial dysfunction. Therefore the researchers and partners involved in the pilot project decided to embark on an even greater project that would assess the utility and effectiveness on the health profiles of public school children in West Virginia statewide.

The entire results of this clinical study can be found here