Exergame, active video games that replace the gym

According to research, exergames, active video games, can be a valid substitute for the gym. At least for the lazy

Eugenio Spagnuolo


For some, it’s just a (video) game, just a bit more… dynamic. And, instead, surprise: for those who simply don’t want to know how to do traditional physical activity exergame, active video games, can replace, at least in part, a workout in the gym. Say that this is a study from the University of Georgia (USA) published in the International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology.

Video games as a gym: the study

The researchers followed 55 people whose daily physical activity was less than the recommended 150 minutes per week. Participants were randomly assigned to exercise or traditional aerobics classes, 3 times a week for 6 weeks. Exergamers could choose from a variety of games, including Just Dance, Kinect Sports And Zumba Fitness World Party. The study measured physical activity and exertion during workouts with accelerometers, heart rate monitors and a scale that measured how well participants thought they were training. The researchers also sought to assess, among other things, the participants’ pleasure in following a “video” training and their motivation to follow a training. The result? The researchers found that while the volunteers assigned to the traditional classes had worked harder than their counterparts, the exergamers had still had fun. And that makes it more likely that they’ll keep moving and maybe be more open to other physical activities in the future.. “I see technology-enhanced training and exercise as a springboard,” says Yli-Piipari, professor of kinesiology and co-author of the study. “It’s the first step in the right direction, especially for people who don’t do any type of exercise.” In short, video games would be nothing more than the Trojan horse of a formation with all the trappings. “We sometimes forget that it is really difficult for the inactive to take the first step”, concludes Yli-Piipari. “But these active video games could solve the problem.”

Exergame: expert advice

Exergames are an innovative and promising form of physical activity. Through virtual and augmented reality challenges, they allow you to practice, track your performance and challenge other users. “The world of video games, contrary to what one might think, has enormous potential to stimulate sport. he explains. Nicola Palmieri (Redez)digital entrepreneur, with over 2.5 million followers, active in the gaming scene with the Youtube channel These two on the server. “Thanks to AR viewers, we can have immersive, highly dynamic and engaging experiences. So while we burn calories, we also earn rewards and points to progress in the game, developing a positive ‘addiction’ to the sport” , continues Palmieri, who also owns a gym.

The most famous exergams

An example is supernatural boxingthat provides a full body cardio workout, or Creed, inspired by the movie. Both are compatible with Oculus Quest and Oculus Quest 2. Also very popular BoxVR, with classes designed by top fitness experts. “Trying boxing in virtual reality allows you to enjoy the benefits of this sport without any risk for beginners. You just need to apply a few weights of 200g to 1kg to the wrists to pull or, as we say in the jargon, to do “sparring” in VR as if you were doing it with your coach or with a partner”, explains Palmieri. Another very popular game is Defeat Saber, where you move to the beat of the music holding a lightsaber.

There are also immersive gaming experiences that simulate different sports, from skiing to hang gliding. An example is the line Icaros, smart equipment that combines home fitness and virtual reality to create exciting workout experiences. Exergames allow users to experience the sensation of flying and practice different sports to strengthen specific muscle areas and immerse themselves in virtual worlds, improving their physical fitness. If smart fitness solutions like these require enough space, those who don’t have large sizes at home can try different sets of FPS (first person shooter), shooter for which 4-5 square meters is enough. “One of the funniest is Very hot, compatible with various devices. During the game, which on the surface may not seem “sporty”, we lie down and get up, we train our reflexes, we sweat a lot. It is certainly a valid alternative for lazy people to burn calories and move even in small spaces”, concludes the expert.

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