Purpose. The present study attempted to determine the effect of the number of hours spent playing computer games per week on somatic characteristics and the performance of selected coordination motor abilities. Methods. Ninety-seven prepubertal boys from rural areas of southern Poland were recruited. Selected coordination motor abilities were assessed by use of computer tests and a questionnaire was administered to determine the amount of time spent playing computer games. Basic somatic characteristics such as body height, body mass, body fat percentage (%PF), fat mass (FM), fat-free mass (FFM), and body mass index (BMI) were measured. Descriptive statistics were calculated mean and standard deviation ( , sd) for the studied coordination abilities and somatic characteristics. One-way ANOVA for independent samples was employed to determine the differentiation between the results of the studied variables depending on the mean numbers of hours spent playing computer games per week. Results. Analysis revealed statistically significant differences between the results and the number of hours spent playing games, specifically for kinesthetic differentiation, spatial orientation, and the speed, accuracy, and precision of movements (in the number of committed errors). The lowest somatic characteristics including BMI was observed in the group of boys who spent the least amount of time playing computer games. Conclusions. It was found playing computer games 8 to 11 hours a week positively affected coordination motor ability, although individuals who played more than this amount of computer games had a higher incidence to be overweight or obese.
Key words: computer games, coordination, body build, rural population