Game on: a cycling exergame can elicit moderate-to-vigorous intensity. A pilot study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionBMJ Open sport & exercise medicine. 2020, 6, 1-6. 10.1136/bmjsem-2020-000744
Objectives The aims of this pilot study were to investigate oxygen uptake (V̇O2) while playing a cycling exergame to assess exercise intensity to determine its potential as a feasible exercise alternative to improve aerobic fitness, and to assess the validity of using heart rate (HR) to estimate V̇O2 in exergaming. Methods Five males (age: 32±8; peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2peak): 47.9±7.8 mL·kg−1·min−1) and five females (age: 27±3; V̇O2peak: 33.9±4.6 mL·kg−1·min−1) played the cycling exergame ‘Pedal Tanks’ for 45 min, with measurements of HR and V̇O2. Results Average and peak V̇O2 during exergaming were 61.7±10.1% and 78.3±11.7% of V̇O2peak, respectively, whereas average and peak HR were 80.0±9.4% and 91.5%±6.7% of HRpeak. There was a strong positive correlation between V̇O2 and HR for all participants (p<0.05) although estimated V̇O2 from HR was 9% higher than that measured during exergaming. Conclusion Our preliminary data suggest that the cycling exergame we investigated can elicit moderate-to-vigorous intensities and may therefore be a viable alternative to conventional aerobic exercise. The exercise intensity during exergaming was overestimated when using HR alone.