Date of Award

January 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology & Public Health Education

First Advisor

Dr. James R. Whitehead


Background: Physical inactivity can lead to numerous health issues. More recently, advances in technology have catered to this area of concern. Activity-promoting video games or exergames, have recently been providing consumers with an innovative and alternative experience to exercise. Traditional exercise modalities such as the cycle ergometer (CE) have utilized video game (VG) play to help increase exercise enjoyment and overall health benefits. However, few studies have examined CE and VG play in this regard.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate if cycling with a non-interactive CE while playing a VG is a viable option to increasing exercise enjoyment while eliciting low perceived exertion and increased physiological benefit.

Methods: A within-subjects experimental design was utilized. College-aged males (n=24; ages 18-25 years [SD<±>±22.17]) participated in four sessions: (i) Familiarization, (ii) cycling while playing an Xbox<®>®<®/> 360 VG console, (iii) cycling while watching music videos (MV), and (iv) cycling with no external media (CT). Measures included exercise enjoyment (modified PACES; Whitehead et al., 2008), perceived exertion (Borg's 6-20 RPE scale, [Borg, 1982]), heart rate (HR), and total work output. It was hypothesized that: (i) experimental condition of CE with VG play would produce higher enjoyment scores, (ii) would keep perceived exertion levels the same or below the music video and control conditions and elicit higher HRs and total work output. Data Analysis included descriptive statistics and paired t-tests with Holm's Sequential Bonferroni adjustments.

Results: Paired t-tests with Holm's Sequential Bonferroni adjustment was utilized for analyzing any statistically significant differences between the three treatment conditions. In terms of exercise enjoyment, the VG and MV conditions consisted of the highest PACES scores, but there was no statistically significant difference between the two treatments. RPE was significantly lower in the VG condition than both the MV and CT conditions VG M=13.21, SD=1.56; MV M=14.46, SD=1.72; t(23)=-3.55, p>.005, d=.73 and VG M=13.21, SD=1.56; CT M=14.25, SD=1.62; t(23)=-3.65, p>.001 d=.64). There were no statistically significant differences in HR between the three conditions. A significantly higher total work output was observed in the MV condition over the VG condition and CT over the VG condition (VG M=113.12, SD=29.21; MV M=128.11, SD=30.17, t(23)=-6.22, p<.001, d=.51 and VG M=113.12, SD=29.21; CT M=122.75, SD=33.30 t(23)=-3.96, p<.005, d=.33).

Conclusion: The obesity epidemic is a great health concern and it has been linked to many causal factors. Insufficient daily PA and exercise has been shown to spur the onset of obesity development and potentially other serious health consequences. PA is necessary for helping to negate these health risks. This investigation has shown that positive benefits can be produced from cycling with a non-interactive CE while playing a console video game. The results of this study suggest that this particular cycling and video game setup can elicit an exercise bout that is just as effective as with cycling using other external media (i.e., watching music videos) as well as without any external media. The use of video games intertwined with traditional exercise modalities could help combat the obesity epidemic as it can be potentially used as another avenue for improving ones' health and fitness. This in turn, may provide a more enjoyable, motivating, and engaging experience for an individual who is not meeting the recommended daily PA guidelines. This may ultimately keep their PA and exercise adherence at a high state.