Generation Y physical activity: the physiologic effects of exergaming
Childhood obesity is on the rise, and many critics claim that environmental factors, such as screen-based media, are a contributing factor to this epidemic. Video games have gained popularity among this age group, especially exergames, which have researchers pondering the physiological effects of playing exergames. The purpose of this study is to examine the differences in heart rate achieved and maximum heart rate achieved between three exergaming systems, and to analyze the intensity level achieved while playing exergames. Twenty males and females ages 8-12 were in this study. Participants were allowed three sessions to become familiarized with equipment and were allowed to play three game systems: (1) Nintendo Wii, (2) Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), (3) Xbox Kinect. Heart rate monitors were worn on the wrist by each participant and were used to record heart rates during six exergaming sessions. Participants played one type of exergaming system for 30 minutes each session, collecting heart rate seven times. Heart rate data were compared to baseline measures, between the threeexergaming systems, and to heart rate thresholds of 50 percent and 70 percent of maximum heart rate. Repeated Measures ANOVA did not show significance for heart rate achieved and heart rate ranges achieved (p=0.563, p= 0.738 respectively). Sixty-four percent of participants achieved heart rates that ranged between set thresholds of 50 percent and 75 percent on all three exergaming systems. Thus, exergaming can be used as physical activity to supplement other forms of physical activity.