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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 March;56(3):319-27


lingua: Inglese

The feasibility of exercise videogames for cardiovascular risk reduction among adults: a pilot for “Wii heart fitness”

Eva R. SERBER 1, Joseph CICCOLO 2, Kathy PALMER 3, Victoria COBB 3, Peter L. TILKEMEIER 4, Beth C. BOCK 3, 5

1 Division of Bio-behavioral Medicine, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA; 2 Department of Bio-behavioral Sciences, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA; 3 Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, The Miriam Hospital, Providence, RI, USA; 4 Greenville Health System, Greenville, SC, USA; 5 Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, RI, USA


BACKGROUND: More than 30% of the US population is prehypertensive, and the recommended treatment of lifestyle modification includes increased physical activity. Exercise videogames (EVG) are widely marketed to Americans as a means of increasing fitness. This study aimed to examine EVG among a sample of prehypertensive adults, to determine (1) feasibility and acceptability of EVG for physical activity, and (2) assess changes in (1) estimates of cardiovascular fitness and risk indices, and psychosocial constructs.
METHODS: Participants with prehypertension completed a 12-week program including; 36, 1-hour sessions; supervised EVG program using Nintendo Wii platform and games. Assessments were at baseline and 13 weeks. Paired t-tests were conducted.
RESULTS: Fourteen adults (84% female; mean age=53 years; 93% Caucasian; 87% employed) completed the study. The study retention rate was 74% and all participants reported satisfaction and enjoyment in the intervention and using the Wii for exercise. Despite the small sample size, significant improvements were seen in: physical activity minutes (P<0.01), peak heart rate (P=0.02), resting systolic blood pressure (P=0.02), and hip circumference (P=0.03). Significant improvements were also seen in the 36-item short-form survey (SF-36) as for general health (P=0.05), role limitations due to emotional problems (P=0.04), and vitality (P=0.01).
CONCLUSIONS: Findings support that an EVG program is feasible, acceptable, and promising in promoting benefit to cardiovascular fitness and psychosocial health. These data provide pilot data for the necessary randomized clinical trials to examine efficacy and sustainability of EVG for adult engagement in physical activity for cardiovascular health promotion.

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