A school educational intervention based on a serious game to promote a healthy lifestyle

Daniela Marchetti, Federica Fraticelli, Francesco Polcini, Mario Fulcheri, Angelika Anna Mohn, Ester Vitacolonna


Background: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a basic aspect of well-being. Since public health surveillance systems underlie high prevalence of obesity and diet-related ill health, efforts to provide effective intervention to prevent these conditions are of primary importance. The present study aims to test and validate a school intervention based on a serious game (SG) directed to empower a healthy lifestyle in children, actively involving their parents and teachers.

Methods: A quantitative, pre/post-test study design assessed effects of a healthy lifestyle intervention on healthy food knowledge, food consumption frequency and level of interest. Participants were 79 children attending primary school and lower secondary school in the Chieti-Pescara urban and rural areas of Italy. Measures were collected during two supervised steps of assessment (T1 and T2).

Results: Sixty-seven children completed the intervention. After playing the SG, participants reported higher levels of knowledge on healthy diet. Children also showed significant improvement in healthy eating habits. Moreover, high rates of endorsement about fun, playability, learning perception and goodness of characteristics emerged.

Conclusion: This study, targeted children, but directly involving families, shows the effectiveness of a school educational intervention based on a SG, an innovative tool with potential benefits for preventive purposes, despite the short term of intervention.  Issues related to the implementation of a method for prevention tailored for children are discussed.


Healthy behavior promotion; Obesity and diabetes prevention; Serious games; Children; Parents

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.6092/2282-1619/2018.6.1877


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