The effect of active video games on blood lipids as a measure of CVD risk

Duckham, Matthew (2011) The effect of active video games on blood lipids as a measure of CVD risk. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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The purpose of the study was to investigate the effects of a four week Nintendo Wii aerobics intervention on blood lipids. Specifically, HDL, LDL, TC, TG and the LDL: HDL ratio. A sample of fifteen (4 males, 11 females) individuals from the University of Central Lancashire took part in the study. Participants were divided into two groups based on their cardiorespiratory fitness levels (low and high). Both groups engaged in the four week Wii aerobics programme, a two week washout period and a control condition containing no exercise. The order in which the groups completed the conditions was randomised. Blood samples were taken pre and post both conditions. Blood pressure, body composition and estimated VO2max were assessed as part of a basic health screen. Additionally, a MetaLyser ® 3B was used to measure respiratory gases whilst exercising. Paired samples t-tests were used to establish significant differences in the measured variables pre to post exercise and control conditions. It was established that a four week Nintendo Wii aerobics intervention significantly (p≤ 0.01) increased HDL cholesterol and significantly (p≤ 0.05) reduced the HDL:LDL ratio in both fitness groups. No significant differences were found for LDL, TC, or TG in either fitness group. Moreover, the intervention resulted in a significant (p ≤ 0.05) decrease in resting SBP and estimated VO2max in both fitness groups. A significant (p ≤ 0.05) reduction in exercising EE, relative VO2 and METs was established in the low fitness group. In conclusion, it was established that Nintendo Wii aerobics may help to improve numerous cardiovascular risk markers, including; lipid profiles, blood pressure and cardiorespiratory fitness. Specifically, individuals with low cardiorespiratory fitness seem to benefit the most from active gaming. It was also demonstrated that participants show a high level of adherence to active gaming sessions.

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