The ability of interactive video games (IVGs) to individualize physical demands influences their viability as a physical activity option. This study examined the influence of experience level on activity levels and affect resulting from playing a martial arts IVG.
Twenty participants completed 3 15-minute trials: (1) walking, (2) IVG with no previous experience (INEXP), and (3) IVG activity after 2 hours of practice (EXP) during which heart rate (HR), step counts, metabolic equivalents of task (METs), ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), session RPE, and affect (positive/negative affect, enjoyment) were measured.
Mean HR was lower during walking (107 ± 18 bpm) than during INEXP (131 ± 25 bpm) and EXP (120 ± 20 bpm). Peak HR and session RPE were lower for walking than for INEXP and EXP. No difference in mean HR was observed between IVG conditions, but peak HR and session RPE were lower for EXP than for INEXP. Walking resulted in greater postactivity reduction of negative affect; however, the IVG conditions were perceived as more enjoyable.
Although the current IVG provided a greater exercise stimulus than walking, results suggest that user movements become more efficient with greater IVG experience and that exercise outcomes may decrease as a result.
The authors are with the Dept of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Missouri Western State University, St. Joseph, MO. Kraft (jkraft@ missouriwestern.edu) is corresponding author.