n International SportMed Journal - Comparison of rates of perceived exertion between active video games and traditional exercise : original research

Volume 13, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1528-3356



Research regarding the Nintendo WiiTM has focused on rehabilitation and balance benefits as well as energy expenditure for games such as boxing and tennis. There is a gap, however, in the literature regarding perceived exertion of the WiiTM compared to other modes of exercise. The purpose of this laboratory-based study was to compare perceived exertion on the Nintendo WiiTM and two traditional modes of exercise : the treadmill and cycle ergometer. It was expected that the WiiTM would show lower ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) values. A repeated measures design was used. Five healthy males (average age = 21.4 years) and seven females (average age = 22.1 years) completed three 20 minute exercise sessions in random order, one each using the cycle ergometer, the treadmill and the Nintendo Wii Fit PlusTM. Exercise intensity was fixed at 65% (± 5 bpm) of each participant's age predicted maximum heart rate. Ratings of perceived exertion and HR were measured every minute. Additionally overall RPE was collected at the end of each trial. Repeated measures analysis of variance confirmed that although exercise intensity was consistent across the three exercise methods, overall RPE was lowest for the Nintendo WiiTM (9.50) followed by the treadmill (9.92) and finally the cycle ergometer (11.08), F = 10.17, p<0.01. When compared to certain traditional exercise modalities the Nintendo Wii Fit PlusTM was perceived to require less effort. Therefore, using the Nintendo Wii Fit PlusTM is likely to result in higher exercise adherence rates.

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