Immune responses to next generation computer gaming

Pell, Francesca (2011) Immune responses to next generation computer gaming. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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The purpose of this study was to investigate stress (as measured by cortisol) and immune response (s-IgA was used as a marker) to step aerobics on the Nintendo Wii between people with varying degrees of cardiorespiratory fitness (fair and good). Measures were taken at baseline and then after participants had attended three 30 minute sessions each week for four weeks. Following a washout period, measures were taken again. More specifically, before and after a four week control period (no Nintendo Wii exercise programme). A basic health screen (blood pressure, body composition and estimated VO2max) was also carried out and cardiorespiratory responses to exercise recorded. Results revealed that the exercise intervention was vigorous enough at the start to induce a significant (p ≤ .05) increase in cortisol in the fair fitness group, but not at any other time for either fitness group. The exercise did not elicit any significant (p > .05) changes in s-IgA, regardless of fitness. Although there was a 26% reduction in s-IgA secretion rate following exercise in the fair fitness group. BP, estimated VO2max and body composition were not significantly (p > .05) altered as a consequence of exercise in the fair fitness group. In contrast, SBP and estimated VO2max were significantly (p ≤ .05) improved in the good fitness group. METs, HR, relative VO2 and EE decreased in both groups, but only significantly (p ≤ .05) for the fair fitness group. It was concluded that regular exercise on the Nintendo Wii does not improve immunosurviellence. If anything, it may even have the opposite effect in low conditioned individuals due to a temporary increase in stress hormones when first starting a structured exercise programme. Moreover, exercise on Wii step is sufficient enough in intensity to contribute to physical activity recommendations to elicit health benefits.

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