Comparison of Acute Psychological Effects from “Exergames” vs. Traditional Exercise (pp. 251-267)
Authors: William D. Russell, Justin A. Kraft, Clifford W. Selsor, Grant D. Foster, and Tracy A. Bowman
Abstract: Acute psychological outcomes of interactive video game (exergames) were compared to traditional aerobic exercise. Volunteers (20 males, 17 females) exercised at a self-selected intensity for 30 minutes in three separate conditions: (1) interactive cycle ergometer, (2) interactive video dance game, and (3) traditional cycle ergometer. Participants were assessed five minutes pre- and five minutes post-exercise on positive and negative affect, concentration, and short-term memory. Positive affect results indicated a significant time effect, with higher post-activity positive affect across conditions compared to pre-test scores. Negative affect also showed a significant time effect, indicating lower post-activity negative affect across conditions compared to pre-activity affect. Finally, a significant time effect for short-term memoryindicated higher digit-span recall across conditions compared to pre-activity levels. Exergames appear to provide similar acute psychological benefits to traditional exercise when performed at a self-selected intensity.