Physiological Responses During Multiplay Exergaming in Young Adult Males are Game-Dependent

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Regular moderate-intensity exercise provides health benefits. The aim of this study was to examine whether the selected exercise intensity and physiological responses during exergaming in a single and multiplayer mode in the same physical space were game-dependent. Ten males (mean ±SD, age: 23 ±5 years, body mass: 84.2 ±15.6 kg, body height: 180 ±7 cm, body mass index: 26.0 ±4.0 kg·m−2) played the games Kinect football, boxing and track & field (3 × ~10 min, ~ 2 min rest periods) in similar time sequence in two sessions. Physiological responses were measured with the portable Cosmed K4b2 pulmonary gas exchange system. Single play demands were used to match with a competitive opponent in a multiplay mode. A within-subjects crossover design was used with one-way ANOVA and a post-hoc t-test for analysis (p<0.05). Minute ventilation, oxygen uptake and the heart rate were at least 18% higher during a multiplayer mode for Kinect football and boxing but not for track & field. Energy expenditure was 21% higher during multiplay football. Single play track & field had higher metabolic equivalent than single play football (5.7 ±1.6, range: 3.2-8.6 vs 4.1 ±1.0, range: 3.0-6.1, p<0.05). Exergaming in a multiplayer mode can provide higher physiological demands but the effects are game-dependent. It seems that exergaming with low intensity in a multiplayer mode may provide a greater physical challenge for participants than in a single play mode but may not consistently provide sufficient intensity to acquire health benefits when played regularly as part of a programme to promote and maintain health in young adults.

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