A Comparison of Objective and Subjective Markers of Exertion using the Wii and Xbox Kinect


Mishler, A., Lo Bue-Estes, C., Patrick, E., Tobin S., Mercyhurst University, Erie, PA

Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine objective and subjective levels of exertion during exergaming using two different gaming systems, Wii and Xbox Kinect, between exergames of similar content. Methods: Ten Female University students (age 19 ± 1.3 years) of varying activity levels without contraindication to safe aerobic exercise participation were recruited via campus advertising. Body composition was assessed via Bod Pod (body fat % 24.7 ± 4.16 kg/m2). Participants played Wii Just Dance (WJD), Wii Sports (WS), Xbox Dance Central (XBD) and Xbox Kinect Motion Sports (XBS). Participants played three dance games and three sports games for each gaming system. Games were chosen for similarity in duration and perceived similarity of exertion. Order of games and gaming systems were counterbalanced. Heart Rate (HR) was assessed using Polar HR monitors. Subject levels of exertion were assessed using the Subjective Exercise Experience Scale (SEES) and Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) using the Omni Scale. Results: Average HR was significantly higher during XBS (127 ± 10, P = 0.016) compared to WS (112 ± 18). Average RPE was not significantly different between WS and XBS. There was no significant difference for average HR or RPE between the gaming systems for the dance games. When comparing only boxing games, HR was significantly higher during the Xbox boxing (148 ± 16, P = 0.005) compared to Wii boxing (121 ± 19), while RPE was not significantly different. On the SEES, subjects rated feelings of fatigue higher following the Xbox games compared to Wii games (P = 0.030), while there was no difference between systems for positive well-being or psychological distress dimensions. Additionally, a significantly greater proportion of subjects answered that the Xbox games were “harder” compared to Wii games (P = 0.039). Conclusion: In exergames of similar content there may be a different level of both objective and subjective exertion based on the gaming system used. For certain games, it is possible that HR is higher but not subjective level of exertion. This warrants further exploration and may have implications increasing fitness levels while improving exercise adherence, as subjects may achieve higher exercise intensity during certain games with no increase in perceived effort.

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