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J Gerontol Nurs. 2013 Dec;39(12):43-54. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20130628-01. Epub 2013 Jul 12.

Cardiovascular effects and enjoyment of exercise gaming in older adults.


The purpose of this study was to quantify the cardiovascular responses and enjoyment of one trial of electronic exercise gaming (EG) (Nintendo(®) Wii(™) Tennis) in healthy, older adults (mean age = 81 [SD = 4 years]). Findings indicate that 15 minutes of EG moderately increased heart rate (p < 0.001), blood pressure (p < 0.001), and perceived exertion (p < 0.0001) compared to resting levels. This corresponded to achieving 64% of age-predicted maximum heart rate. No differences were observed for the cardiovascular responses to EG between genders, but participants taking beta-blocker drugs showed an attenuated response (p < 0.05). All participants completed EG tennis without excessive fatigue, with 86% of participants enjoying the experience. There were only a few cases of EG-related arrhythmias (n = 2) and post-exercise muscle soreness (n = 3). These results suggest that Nintendo Wii Tennis EG technology represents an enjoyable, moderate intensity physical activity for healthy, older adults.

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