Can Earth’s mightiest heroes help children be physically active? Exploring the immersive qualities of Les Mills’ and Marvel’s “Move Like the Avengers” video

Emily Budzynski-Seymour, Michelle Jones, James Steele

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There have been calls for more enjoyable Physical Activity (PA) interventions which focus on ensuring a positive affective response. This study explored how using a narrative, characters, and music in a video-led PA session might influence the sense of immersion and impact the affective response. One hundred and thirty-six participants (boys n = 65, girls n = 71) were recruited, 85% aged between 7 and 11 years old. Participants completed the “Move Like the Avengers” PA video created by Les Mills and Marvel, then complete a survey answering questions on their post activity affective responses, and the use of immersive elements. Positive average affective responses were found (valence mean score: 3.6 ± 2.2, arousal mean score: 5.1 ± 1.0). Analysis revealed the narrative with characters indirectly mediate the valence response through creating a sense of immersion (βstd = 0.122 [95%CI 0.013 to 0.231]; p = 0.012). Musical elements had both a direct (βstd = 0.449 [95%CI 0.264 to 0.634]; p < 0.001), and an indirect (βstd = 0.122 [95%CI 0.014 to 0.229]; p = 0.011) effect upon valence and a direct effect upon arousal (βstd = 0.244 [95%CI 0.006 to 0.482]; p = 0.021). These promising results provide justification for future research into children’s immersive PA.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7184
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2021


  • Affect
  • Characters
  • Children
  • Enjoyment
  • Health promotion
  • Music
  • Narrative
  • Physical activity

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