The impact of active gaming on adherence to a cycling program: An exploratory study

Melanie Keats, Abby Jakob, Ryan Rhodes

Abstract


Background: A major factor influencing adherence to physical activity is the level of enjoyment derived from participating in the activity. Given the mass appeal of video games, technology that combines video games with physical activity (i.e., active gaming) is gaining popularity. Despite the large scale commercial growth however, few studies have examined the impact of active gaming on activity levels and fitness outcomes. Purpose: Using the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) as the guiding theoretical framework, the purpose of this study was to examine the effect of active gaming on activity enjoyment, adherence and fitness outcomes in postsecondary youth. Methods: Participants (N = 19) were randomly assigned to experimental (n = 11) or comparison (n = 8) conditions. Participants were asked to cycle on the Exerbike Pro® for 30 minutes, twice a week for six weeks. Participants in the experimental condition exercised using an active gaming system that was linked to a Sony Playstation 2®. Participants in the comparison condition exercised using an interactive cycling training DVD. Pre and post intervention assessments included measures of TPB, physical activity behaviour, adherence, training intensity, and fitness. Results: Activity enjoyment (p ? 0.001), intention (p = 0.03), adherence (p = 0.01), and exercise response (i.e., maximal aerobic power (VO2max)) favoured the experimental condition (p = 0.01). Conclusions: This study provides additional support to the notion that active gaming may play an important role in supporting sustainable, active lifestyles.

Keywords


Medicine; Exercise; Physiology; Chronic Disease; Physical Activity; Health Promotion; Exercise Science; Kinesiology

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ISSN: 19206216