International Journal of Exercise Science 6(3) : 199-207, 2013. Paintball is a popular recreational sport played by 3.655 million Americans and may be sufficient physical activity to promote health. Paintball has been played as an organized sport since the 1980’s and is essentially a game of tag, except instead of touching an opponent by hand opponents are tagged by shooting them with a paintball that leaves a mark indicating who has been eliminated. A previous evaluation of paintball as physical activity had 13 subjects undergo a VO2max test to develop a heart rate (HR) /oxygen consumption relationship, and it was observed that heart rates during paintball were 68-73% of the measured maximal HR. The present study used accelerometry and HR monitors to evaluate the quantity and intensity of physical activity in boys playing paintball. Eleven boys (12.7 ± 1.0 y, 51.5 ± 11.3 kg, 161.8 ± 10.1 cm) engaged in a VO2max test to develop a HR/oxygen consumption correlation. On a separate day the boys played 7 games of outdoor paintball while wearing a HR monitor and accelerometer. The boys played paintball for 11.5 ± 6.2 minutes/game for a total of 80.6 ± 10.0 minutes of game play. Average HR during paintball play was 129.6 ± 6.6 beats/min, representing 39.9 ± 12.9% VO2max. Based on accelerometry, the boys accumulated 63.2 ± 15.6 minutes of moderate intensity activity and 2.6 ± 2.8 minutes of vigorous activity during paintball. These data suggest that playing paintball may be considered as physical activity that is > 3 METs, and thus health promoting.

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