Gaming Instead of Training? Exergaming Induces High-Intensity Exercise Stimulus and Reduces Cardiovascular Reactivity to Cold Pressor Test



Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, 55.




The present study assessed if an exercise session in an innovative exergame can modulate hemodynamic reactivity to a cold pressor test (CPT) to a similar extent as a typical moderate endurance training (ET). Furthermore, cardiorespiratory, and affective responses of an exergame session and an ET were compared. Twenty-seven healthy participants aged 25 ± 4 years (48% female; BMI 23.0 ± 2.1 kg/m2) participated in this cross-sectional study. All participants completed both an ET on a treadmill and training in the ExerCube (ECT). HR and oxygen consumption were recorded during both training sessions. Before and after both exercise sessions, the hemodynamic reactivity to a CPT was determined. During ECT, HR, oxygen consumption, energy expenditure, and the metabolic equivalent of the task were significantly higher than those obtained during ET (p < 0.001). With regard to the CPT, the participants showed significantly lower responses in peripheral systolic (p = 0.004) and diastolic blood pressure (p = 0.009) as well as central systolic (p = 0.002) and diastolic BP (P = 0.01) after ECT compared to ET. The same was true for pulse wave velocity (p = 0.039). The ECT induced a significantly higher exercise stimulus compared to the ET. At the same time, it attenuated hemodynamic stress reactivity. The ECT presents a relevant training stimulus that modulates cardiovascular reactivity to stress, which has been proven as a predictor for the development of hypertension.

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