Comparison of Acute Exercise Responses Between Conventional Video Gaming and Isometric Resistance Exergaming

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Bonetti, AJ, Drury, DG, Danoff, JV, and Miller, TA. Comparison of acute exercise responses between conventional video gaming and isometric resistance exergaming. J Strength Cond Res 24(7): 1799-1803, 2010-Exergaming is a relatively new type of entertainment that couples physical activity and video gaming. To date, research that has focused on the physiologic responses to exergaming has been focused exclusively on aerobic-type activities. The purpose of this project was to describe the acute exercise responses (i.e., oxygen uptake [O2], heart rate, and rate of perceived exertion [RPE]) to exergaming using full-body isometric muscle resistance and to determine whether these responses are different during single- versus opponent-based play. Male subjects (n = 32) were randomly and equally divided into either an experimental (EXP) or control (CON) group. Acute exercise responses (O2, heart rate, and RPE) were measured in all subjects during both solo- and opponent-based video game play. Subjects in the EXP group played using a controller that relied on full-body isometric muscle resistance to manipulate the on-screen character, whereas CON subjects used a conventional handheld controller. During solo play, the EXP group exhibited significantly higher values for O2 (9.60 ±0.50 mL/kg/min) and energy expenditure (3.50 ± 0.14 kcal/min) than the CON group (O2 5.05 ± 0.16 mL/kg/min; energy expenditure 1.92 ± 0.07 kcal/min). These changes occurred with no significant differences in RPE or heart rate between the groups. These results suggest that whole-body isometric exergaming results in greater energy expenditure than conventional video gaming, with no increase in perceived exertion during play. This could have important implications regarding long-term energy expenditure in gamers.

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