Author

Tuong Thai

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)

Date Information

May 2019

Department

Sport and Movement Science

First Advisor

Christopher Schoen

Abstract

Objective: With the technological advances in today’s society, active videogames (or exergames) have become more commonplace. Virtual reality (VR) exergames have begun to emerge with more readily available, affordable technology that can be bought online and in stores. This study focused on the popular VR game Beat Saber (Beat Games 2018) and its overall effectiveness in getting individuals to exercise in comparison to a treadmill condition one can do at a gym. It was hypothesized that participants will have similar heart rates, equally high perceived exertion, higher intrinsic motivation to exercise, and have more time spent exercising in Beat Saber than on the treadmill.

Methods: Twenty young adults (male or female) were asked to participate in this two non-consecutive day study. Participants underwent two conditions in a balanced order, with half completing the exergame condition first, and the other half completing the treadmill condition first. Participants completed the remaining test condition during their second visit. The participants were evenly divided into two different groups (Group A and Group B). Those in Group A started with an exergame protocol while those in Group B started with a treadmill protocol. All participants had their heart rates, perceived exertion levels (RPE), motivation to exercise, and time spent exercising measured in both conditions.

Results: A paired t-test (p < 0.05) found significant differences in mean heart rate (p = 0.003), in the intrinsic motivation subgroups of Interest/Enjoyment (p < .05) and Perceived Choice (p < .05), and in average time spent exercising (p < 0.001). The paired t-test also found no significant differences in the most active twenty-minute period mean heart rate (p = 0.92), in mean RPE (p = 0.53), or in the intrinsic motivation subgroups of Perceived Competence (p = 0.37), Effort/Importance (p = 0.48), and Value/Usefulness (p = 0.21).

Conclusion: As hypothesized, the exergame Beat Saber can be considered a viable, alternative form of exercise that is also more engaging than running on the treadmill.

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