University of Oulu

Salmensalo, M., Ruotsalainen, H., Hylkilä, K. et al. Associations between digital gaming behavior and physical activity among Finnish vocational students. J Public Health (Berl.) (2022).

Associations between digital gaming behavior and physical activity among Finnish vocational students

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Author: Salmensalo, Mikko1; Ruotsalainen, Heidi2; Hylkilä, Krista1;
Organizations: 1Research Unit of Health Science and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 5000, 90014, Oulu, Finland
2School of Health and Social Care, Oulu University of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 222, 90101, Oulu, Finland
3Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital, 90014, Oulu, Finland
4Business Oulu, P.O. Box 22, 90015, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-07-10


Digital gaming is considered to be a major sedentary lifestyle among youth. The time spent on digital gaming may also affect the physical behavior of young adults.

Objective: This study aimed to investigate the associations between various characteristics of digital gaming behavior (i.e., gaming time, device, and game type) and participation in physical activity among Finnish vocational students.

Materials and methods: The research employed a cross-sectional survey design. The analyzed sample consisted of 773 students (455 males, 318 females) from eight vocational school units in Northern Finland who regularly played digital games. Data were collected via an online self-reported questionnaire, which included questions concerning average weekly time spent on digital gaming, preferred device, favorite types of games, and physical activity.

Results: The students spent an average of two hours each day playing digital games. Males preferred to play using personal computers (PCs), whereas mobile gaming was more popular among females. Shooter (42.4%) and entertainment (64.2%) games were the most popular game types among males and females, respectively. The results revealed that male gender and PC gaming were both positively related to physical inactivity among vocational school students. A preference toward sport games was inversely related with physical inactivity.

Conclusion: The presented findings can be utilized to develop interventions that target the prevention of sedentary behavior among vocational students. Further longitudinal studies will be required to reliably assess the relationship between digital gaming and physical activity.

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Series: Journal of public health
ISSN: 2198-1833
ISSN-E: 1613-2238
ISSN-L: 2198-1833
Issue: Online first
DOI: 10.1007/s10389-022-01788-y
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 316 Nursing
Funding: Open Access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital. No financial support was received for this study.
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