Background: Previous research has focused on exergaming in clinical patients during rehabilitative sessions. Our objective was to compare balance, cardiovascular health and functional fitness in relation to exercise tests in sedentary adults before and after exergaming (n=12, 56+4 years, 162.1+10.9 cm, 79.2+19.1 kg, 39.6 ± 7.7% fat mass). Methods: Randomly assigned subjects initially underwent balance, cardiovascular endurance and functional fitness tests before engaging in exergaming, 20 min/3d/wk. After 8 weeks, balance, cardiovascular health and functional fitness were retested. Findings: Exergaming improved Single-Leg-Stand time (3.2+0.4s to 7.9+1.4s, p<0.05), Sit-To-Stand repetitions (14.2+1.7 to 16.8+1.3, p<0.05) and YMCA 3-Minute Step Test heart rate recovery (103+7.9 to 95+3.2, p<0.05) while eliciting a habitual voluntary moderate-intensity exercise level in previously sedentary individuals. Conclusions: Exergaming increased cardiovascular endurance, balance and lower extremity functional fitness while meeting American College of Sports Medicine guidelines for moderate-intensity exercise. Exergaming should be considered a viable option for recreational exercise to meet ACSM physical activity recommendations and improve overall quality of life.
Daniel M Rosney and Peter J Horvath