A Game-Based Approach to Lower Blood Pressure? Comparing Acute Hemodynamic Responses to Endurance Exercise and Exergaming: A Randomized Crossover Trial



International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(3) (p. 1349).




The present randomized crossover study aimed to determine whether an exergaming session in an innovative, functional fitness game could be an effective exercise approach that elicits favorable blood pressure (BP) responses, such as a typical moderate endurance exercise (ET). Therefore, acute hemodynamic responses after a training session in the ExerCube and an ET on a treadmill were assessed and compared. Twenty-eight healthy recreational active participants (13 women; aged 24.8 ± 3.9 years) completed an exergaming session (EX) and an ET in a randomized and counterbalanced order. Before and throughout the 45 min after the training, the peripheral and central BP were measured. After the ET, there was a moderate decrease in both peripheral systolic (-1.8 mmHg; p = 0.14) and diastolic (-0.8 mmHg; p = 0.003), as well as central diastolic (-1.5 mmHg; p = 0.006) pressure compared to the resting value before the exercise. After the EX, there was a significant decrease in peripheral systolic (-6.3 mmHg; p < 0.001) and diastolic (-4.8 mmHg; p < 0.001), as well as central systolic (-5.8 mmHg; p < 0.001) and diastolic (-5.3 mmHg; p < 0.001) pressure compared to baseline. The interaction effects showed significant differences in peripheral and central systolic BP as well as in peripheral diastolic BP (p = 0.05). The EX seems to be an effective training approach that triggers relevant peripheral and central BP-responses, which are more pronounced than after a typical ET. Therefore, the ExerCube can be a time-efficient training tool to improve cardiovascular health.

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