Effects of Full Body Exergaming in Virtual Reality on Cardiovascular and Muscular Parameters: Cross-Sectional Experiment

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Abstract
BACKGROUND:
In recent years, many studies have associated sedentary behavior in front of screens with health problems in infants, children, and adolescents. Yet options for exergaming-playing video games that require rigorous physical exercise-seem to fall short of the physical activity levels recommended by the World Health Organization.
OBJECTIVE:
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a fully immersive virtual reality (VR)-based training system on cardiovascular and muscular parameters of young adults.
METHODS:
A cross-sectional experiment design was used to analyze muscle activity (surface electromyography), heart rate, perceived exertion (RPE), cybersickness symptoms, perceived workload, and physical activity enjoyment (PACES) in 33 participants performing two 5-minute flights on a new training device.
RESULTS:
Participants' performance of the planking position required to play the game resulted in moderate aerobic intensity (108 [SD 18.69] bpm). Due to the mainly isometric contraction of the dorsal muscle chain (with a mean activation between 20.6% [SD 10.57] and 26.7% [SD 17.39] maximum voluntary isometric contraction), participants described the exercise as a moderate to vigorous activity (RPE 14.6 [SD 1.82]). The majority reported that they enjoyed the exercise (PACES 3.74 [SD 0.16]). However, six participants had to drop out because of cybersickness symptoms and two because of muscle pain due to prior injuries.
CONCLUSIONS:
Our findings suggest that fully immersive VR training systems can contribute to muscle-strengthening activities for healthy users. However, the dropout rate highlights the need for technological improvements in both software and hardware. In prevention and therapy, movement quality is a fundamental part of providing effective resistance training that benefits health. Exergaming on a regular basis has the potential to develop strong muscles and a healthy back. It is essential that future VR-based training systems take into account the recommendations of sport and exercise science.
Original languageGerman
Article numbere12324
JournalJMIR Serious Games (JSG)
Volume7
Issue number3
Number of pages15
ISSN2291-9279
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28.08.2019

ID: 4707268

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