Physical Activity and the Nintendo Wii: A Psycho-Physiological Approach

James Wright, John Batten, Laura Shafe, Helen Ryan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose. This study examined whether the affective responses pre-, mid- and post- a single bout of Interactive Video Game Technology (IVGT), as well as the amount of energy expended, were comparable to those experienced during traditional physical activity.
    Methods. The randomised cross-over design saw each participant (n = 16 undergraduate students) engage in 30-minutes of Nintendo Wii ™ Tennis and 30-minutes of Hardcourt Tennis. Measurements of affect were taken pre-, mid- and post-activity, and estimates of energy expenditure calculated. Two post-experiment focus group interviews were also used to explore participants’ affective responses.
    Results. Repeated measures analyses of variance revealed both valence and activation to be higher during Hardcourt Tennis at all time intervals. A paired t-test also indicated that energy expenditure was greater during Hardcourt Tennis. However, the IVGT condition was still associated with low-activation pleasant affect. The interview data supported and partially explained the quantitative findings from a self-determination perspective.
    Conclusions. These findings demonstrate that traditional physical activity elicits greater psycho-physiological benefits than IVGT physical activity.
    Applications. The efficacy of IVGT-based physical activity may reside in its ability to operate as a motivational entry point for inactive populations, making the initial process of physical activity an enjoyable means to displace sedentary behaviour.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalThe Sport Journal
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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