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Investigating the Relative Exercise Intensity of Exergames in Prepubertal Children / Melitta McNarry, Kelly Mackintosh
Games for Health Journal, Volume: 5, Issue: 2, Pages: 135 - 140
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Objective:Literature remains equivocal as to whether exergames elicit energy expenditure (EE) commensurate with physical activity guidelines. Such discrepancies may be attributable to a reliance on absolute exercise intensities which fail to account for differences in cardiorespiratory fitness level...
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Objective:Literature remains equivocal as to whether exergames elicit energy expenditure (EE) commensurate with physical activity guidelines. Such discrepancies may be attributable to a reliance on absolute exercise intensities which fail to account for differences in cardiorespiratory fitness levels. Materials and Methods:Thirty four pre-pubertal children (20 boys, 10.8±1.0 yrs) completed a 30 minute exergame (two 15 minute games; Kinect Adventures!; Xbox 360) and an incremental treadmill test to determine peak O2 throughout which breath-by-breath gas exchange was measured. Results:Both games elicited moderate intensity (5.7±1.5 and 5.5±1.4 METs), with 36% demonstrating a mean EE in excess of 6.0 METs, commensurate with vigorous intensity. Furthermore, boys demonstrated higher EE during both games (Game 1: boys, 6.0±1.7 vs. girls, 5.2±1.0; Game 2: boys, 6.0±1.4 vs. girls, 4.9±1.2 METs; P<0.05). Hierarchical linear regression revealed sex, maturity and fitness to be significant predictors of EE, accounting for 24%: relative exergame O2=24.53+(2.12*Sex)–(0.42*Maturity offset)–(0.16*relative peak O2). There was no correlation between absolute O2 during the exergames and peak O2 but O2 expressed as a percentage of peak O2 was correlated with peak O2 during both game 1 (r=-0.62, P<0.01) and game 2 (r =-0.59, P<0.01).Conclusion:The present findings provide further evidence that exergames can elicit energy expenditures commensurate with national physical activity guidelines and extend our understanding of the mediators of EE. Specifically, cardiorespiratory fitness and sex must both be considered in the design and implementation of future interventions seeking to utilise exergames to enhance physical activity levels and/or cardiorespiratory fitness.
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