Development of an Exergame to Deliver a Sustained Dose of High-Intensity Training: Lessons Learned in a Formative Pilot Randomized Trial

McBain, Thomas, Weston, Matthew, Crawshaw, Paul, Haighton, Katie and Speers, Iain (2018) Development of an Exergame to Deliver a Sustained Dose of High-Intensity Training: Lessons Learned in a Formative Pilot Randomized Trial. JMIR Serious Games, 6 (1). e4. ISSN 2291-9279

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Background: Sport science can play a critical role in reducing health inequalities. The inverse relationship between life-expectancy, cardiorespiratory fitness and socioeconomic status could be addressed by performing high-intensity training (HIT), delivered in a class salient and accessible approach. Commercially available exergames have shown encouraging compliance rates but are primarily designed for entertainment purposes rather than focussing on health-related outcomes. A serious game tailored towards delivering an exercise stimulus, whilst reducing the aversive protocols associated with HIT, could be beneficial to engage and improve health outcomes in socially deprived males.
Objective: The aims were to develop an exergame capable of delivering HIT and evaluate the effect on selected health outcomes in men recruited in regions of socioeconomic deprivation.
Methods: We conducted an exploratory trial in our target population and participants were allocated to intervention (n = 14) or control groups (n = 10) by third-party minimisation. The intervention was a 6-week training program consisting of 3 sessions of exergaming per week. The sessions involved a structured warm-up then brief intermittent repetitions in the form of boxing rounds (10, 20 and 30-sec) against their peers with a work/rest ratio of 0.25.
Results: Retention to the intervention was 87%. Over the duration of the intervention, session attendance was 68%, repetition mean and peak heart rates (% of maximal) and session ratings of perceived exertion (arbitrary units) were 86.3±5.4%, 89.9±6.1% and 7.5±2.2AU, respectively. The effect of the intervention, when compared to the control, was a likely small beneficial improvement in predicted VO2max (3.0; 90% confidence limits ± 2.6%). Effects on body mass, waist circumference and blood pressure were either trivial or unclear.
Conclusions: Over the 6-week intervention, the exergame delivered a consistent and sustained dose of HIT, with some beneficial effects on aerobic fitness in the target population.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 2.0.
Uncontrolled Keywords: active video gaming; intervention fidelity; boxing and metabolic syndrome
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2018 12:30
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 08:47

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