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Med Eng Phys. 2001 May;23(4):267-73.

Does computer game play aid in motivation of exercise and increase metabolic activity during wheelchair ergometry?

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Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, 5044 Forbes Tower, University of Pittsburgh, 15260, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


GAME(Wheels) is an interface between a portable roller system and a computer that enables a wheelchair user to play commercially available computer video games. The subject controls the game play with the propulsion of their wheelchair's wheels on the rollers. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether using the GAME(Wheels) System during wheelchair propulsion exercise can help increase the individual's physiological response and aid in the motivation to exercise. Fifteen subjects participated in this study. The subjects propelled their wheelchairs on a portable roller that was equipped with the GAME(Wheels) System. There were two exercise trials consisting of 2 min of warm-up, 16 min of exercise and 2 min of cool-down. Physiological data (ventilation rate, oxygen consumption, heart rate) were collected. A significant difference (P<0.05) was found between exercise with GAME(Wheels) versus without GAME(Wheels) for average ventilation rate and average oxygen consumption. The differences were found during time periods of transition from warm-up to exercise, and before and after the midpoint of exercise. Written questionnaires showed that 87% of the individuals tested reported the system would help them work out on a regular basis. Playing the video game helped these individuals to reach their exercise training zone faster and maintain it for the entire exercise trial.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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