The effect of powerzone on behaviors that contribute to physical activity and healthy diets in pre-teens
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Adolescents’ and young adults’ vulnerability to health risk behaviors causes disease and death in adulthood. Therefore it is important for pre-teens to develop healthy behaviors. The purpose of this exploratory, randomized controlled trial was to determine the effectiveness of a computer game, PowerZone, on improving pre-adolescents’ knowledge, risk perception, motivation and frequency of behaviors that contribute to physical activity and healthy diets. Twenty-six pre-teens participated in the study; 14 in the treatment group and 12 in the control group. Using the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System and researcher developed questionnaires to assess risk perception, knowledge, motivation and ability to share knowledge with others, repeated measures analysis of variance revealed significant differences in the knowledge of behaviors that contribute to physical activity and healthy diets (p=.04). No other findings were significant. The results of the study can be used to develop health promotion and wellness programs for children and adolescents.