Assessing the Physiological Cost of Active Videogames (Xbox Kinect) Versus Sedentary Videogames in Young Healthy Males

Gillian Barry, Daniel Tough, Phillip Sheerin, Oliver Mattinson, Rachael Dawe, Elisabeth Board

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: The aims of this study were twofold: (1) to compare the physiological costs of active videogames (AVGs) and sedentary videogames (SVGs) and (2) to compare the exercise intensities attained during AVGs with the exercise intensity criteria for moderate and vigorous physical activity, as stated in current physical activity recommendations for improving public health. Materials and Methods: Nineteen young males participated in the study (age, 23 ± 3 years; height, 178 ± 6 cm; weight, 78 ± 15 kg). Participants completed a maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) test and a gaming session, including AVGs (“Reflex Ridge,” “River Rush,” and “Boxing” for the Microsoft [Redmond, WA] Kinect™) and SVGs (“FIFA 14” [Electronic Arts, Burnaby, BC, Canada] and “Call of Duty” [Activision, Santa Monica, CA]). Heart rate (HR) and oxygen uptake (VO2max) were recorded continuously during all videogames. Rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was taken every 3 minutes during AVGs and SVGs. Energy expenditure (EE), expressed as metabolic equivalents (METs), was calculated. One MET was defined as the volume of oxygen consumed at rest in a seated position and is equal to 3.5 mL of O2/kg of body mass/minute. The exercise intensity for each game was expressed as a percentage of VO2max and percentage of age-predicted maximum HR (HRmax). Results: Exercise intensity (percentage HRmax, percentage VO2max, and RPE) and EE (METs) were significantly higher during active gaming compared with sedentary gameplay (P 
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-74
JournalGames for health journal
Issue number1
Early online date1 Dec 2015
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2016


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