Acute Effects of Heart Rate-Controlled Exergaming on Vascular Function in Young Adults



Games for Health Journal
(pp. 58-66).




Acute and regular moderate-intensity endurance exercise (MIEE) is known to positively affect vascular function. The present study assessed if an exercise session in an innovative exergame called the ExerCube can induce similar vascular reactions as an MIEE session. Twenty-eight healthy recreationally active participants (13 females and 15 males; aged 24.8 ± 3.9 years; with body mass index 23.2 ± 2.3 kg/m2) completed an exergaming session (EGS) in the ExerCube (25 minutes) and an MIEE session on a treadmill (35 minutes, 65%-70% of maximal heart rate [HR]) in a randomized order. Both before and throughout the 45 minutes after the training sessions, pulse wave velocity (PWV), total peripheral resistance (TPR), stroke volume (SV), and HR were recorded. The study was approved by the Research Ethics Board of the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg (Medical Faculty of the Martin-Luther-Universität 2019-177). There were different hemodynamic responses to both types of exercises. PWV was significantly decreased 45 minutes after the EGS (P < 0.001). No significant changes were detected after MIEE (P = 0.109). TPR was significantly lower after both exercise sessions (P < 0.01). Only the EGS resulted in a significant decrease in SV 15 minutes after exercise (P < 0.001). The HR was significantly (P < 0.05) higher after both exercise sessions. After the EGS, the increase in HR was still significantly higher (P = 0.011) 45 minutes after the session. The interaction effects revealed significant differences in PWV (15 minutes, P = 0.035; 30 minutes, P = 0.004; and 45 minutes, P < 0.001), favoring the EGS. The EGS seems to induce a relevant exercise stimulus that can modulate vascular function. Therefore, this exergame may present an effective tool for prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

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