What Are the Benefits of a Commercial Exergaming Platform for College Students? Examining Physical Activity, Enjoyment, and Future Intentions

in Journal of Physical Activity and Health
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Background:

Traditional videogames contribute to sedentary behaviors; in contrast, exergaming is a relatively new concept that uses videogames to promote exercise during game play. Nintendo Wii Fit is a commercially popular exergaming platform geared toward improving fitness, however, limited empirical evidence related to the physical and mental benefits of the Wii Fit platform currently exist. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate possible physical and motivational benefits of Nintendo Wii Fit.

Methods:

A repeated measures design was used with 30 college-aged students to explore physical activity, enjoyment, and future intentions of physical activity associated with Wii Fit exergames.

Results:

Data supported the efficacy of Wii Fit Basic Run to consistently produce moderate to vigorous physical activity across participants. Future intentions were higher for exergaming compared with generic exercise and obese individuals enjoyed exergaming more than generic physical activity.

Conclusions:

The Basic Run Wii Fit game provided opportunities for accumulating moderate to vigorous physical activity that provided motivational benefits to these participants, especially those classified as obese. Future research should examine the ability of Wii Fit exergames to produce physical activity and motivation over time.

The authors are with the Dept of Kinesiology, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA.