Research Study Abstract

Effects of prolonged multidimensional fitness training with exergames on the physical exertion levels of older adults

  • Published on July 29, 2019

While exergames have been used with older adults in an attempt to promote higher physical activity (PA) levels, and its subsequent health benefits, there is a lack of research that objectively quantifies the PA levels that custom-made exergames can produce throughout an extended training program. In this paper, we describe a 3-month intervention study that aimed to measure the participants PA levels during exergames’ sessions and their effectiveness in eliciting the recommended activity levels. Over the course of the study, two groups of older adults participated in either a conventional multidimensional fitness training program of two sessions of exercise per week (n = 16) or in an equivalent combined program (n = 15), of one conventional and one exergame session per week. Both the objective PA levels (through accelerometry) and subjective effort (perceived exertion) were collected in each session. Results revealed that while participants spent more time in moderate-to-vigorous PA during exergaming than during conventional sessions, they also spent less energy, thus working out at lower intensities but for a more sustained amount of time. The self-reported exertion was consistently higher for the sessions of the combined exercise program. We showed that a set of custom-made exergames can be successfully used by trainers to set up personalized training sessions and can be used in combination with regular exercise for sustained long-term training, exposing differences between the two training regimes in terms of efficiency, elicited PA, and perceived effort.


  • Afonso Rodrigues Gonçalves 1,2
  • John Edison Muñoz 3
  • Élvio Rúbio Gouveia 1,2
  • Mónica da Silva Cameirão 1,2
  • Sergi Bermúdez i Badia 1,2


  • 1

    LARSyS & Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (M-ITI), Funchal, Portugal

  • 2

    Faculdade de Ciências Exatas e da Engenharia, Universidade da Madeira, Funchal, Portugal

  • 3

    Systems Design and Engineering Department, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada


The Visual Computer


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