Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wii Will Make You Happy to Exercise (Study)

Can playing (or observing) exergames like Kinect or Wii improve your mood and make it more likely for you to exercise in the future? Those are the questions Drs. Chater and Marsden asked in the recent presentation in Liverpool. They found that those who played positively increased their mood, and in their beliefs about how much control they had in doing more exercise in the future.

This makes sense as in most games, they are usually fun to watch and play and plus if you know that you're getting a good workout while you're having fun, it is likely to improve your mood and future intention to exercise. I've found similar things in my research with teenagers,children, and college students.
New research has also shown the health benefits of exergaming showed that it can be useful in also be useful in improving balance (Vernadakis et al. 2012), coordination (Deutsch et al. 2011) and cognitive functioning (Anderson-Hanley et al, 2012; Best, 2011; O’Leary, 2011; Staiano, Abraham, & Calvert, 2012 ). Other research has shown that playing games that can elicit higher levels of intensity can improve endothelial function (Murphy et al., 2009) and higher math scores (Gao & Mandryk, 2012)
Exergaming Points to Ponder (P2P)

  • Which Wii and Kinect games did they play?
  • Were they experienced in either of them? Could prior experience and skill have affected the results?
  • Were they monitored for exercise intensity of perceived exertion? 
  • Were they assessed for level of fitness or level of daily physical activity?

Chater, A, & Marsden, B (2012). Investigating the influence of interactive game consoles on physical activity motivation & mood: Wii vs Kinect 2012 Division of Health Psychology Annual Conference
Click here to explore more of ExerGame Lab's archived posts involving research studies. 

Background: This study aimed to assess whether the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) can predict physical activity (PA) intentions and whether PA is influenced by mood and past behaviour. It further looked at the effect of physically active game consoles on these variables. 

Method: The study employed a randomized, repeated-measures design with 120 participants (40 per cent males; Mean age = 29.03; [SD=12.25]). The TPB variables (attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioural control: PBC), past behaviour and PA importance were measured along with mood using the PANAS-X. The Nintendo Wii (Tennis – competitive game) and Microsoft Xbox-Kinect (Adventures – team game) consoles were used as the intervention tools.

Findings: Multiple regression confirmed the TPB to be a strong model in predicting PA intentions explaining 58 per cent of the variance with behavioural importance explaining 18 per cent. MANCOVA revealed significant intervention effects, with an increase in PA intentions , PBC and positive affect  and a significant reduction in negative affect  after the intervention. Actual game play enhanced these variables more so than observing others playing the consoles. The type of game (competitive vs team) and console played (Wii vs Kinect) had no significant effect. 

Discussion: This study provides further support for the efficacy of the TPB in predicting physical activity intentions. Moreover, it confirms that engaging in PA through a games console can encourage beliefs in behavioural control, along with mood and motivation to be physically active, supporting their use in this setting. Future interventions should take this evidence into consideration.

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