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Active video games (exergames) increase energy expenditure (EE) and physical activity (PA) compared with sedentary video gaming. The physiological cost and enjoyment of exergaming in adolescents, and young and older adults has not been documented, nor compared with aerobic exercise. This study compared the physiological cost and enjoyment of exergaming on Wii Fit with aerobic exercise in 3 populations.
Cardiorespiratory and enjoyment measurements were compared in 14 adolescents, 15 young adults, and 13 older adults during handheld inactive video gaming, Wii Fit activities (yoga, muscle conditioning, balance, aerobics), and brisk treadmill walking and jogging.
For all groups EE and heart rate (HR) of Wii Fit activities were greater than handheld gaming (P < .001) but lower than treadmill exercise (P ≤ .001). Wii aerobics elicited moderate intensity activity in adolescents, young adults, and older adults with respective mean (SD) metabolic equivalents of 3.2 (0.7), 3.6 (0.8), and 3.2 (0.8). HR during Wii aerobics fell below the recommended intensity for maintaining cardiorespiratory fitness. Group enjoyment rating was greater for Wii balance and aerobics compared with treadmill walking and jogging (P ≤ .05).
Wii Fit appears an enjoyable exergame for adolescents and adults, stimulating light-to-moderate intensity activity through the modification of typically sedentary leisure behavior.
The authors are with the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom.