Research Article
Volume 16 Issue 3 - 2020
Exergaming Intervention in Sedentary Middle-Aged Adults Reduces Cortisol Production and Psychological Stress
Daniel M Rosney*
Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
*Corresponding Author: Daniel M Rosney, Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
Received: October 30, 2019; Published: February 13, 2020


Background: Interactive video game technology has been extensively utilized in rehabilitative settings. However, few studies have explored the potential benefits of interactive video games as an exercise instrument to relieve stress in middle-aged adults who do not have a gym membership or who cannot otherwise regularly attend their local fitness center. Features of interactive “exergaming” (modeling proper exercise biomechanics, increasing self-monitoring of behavior, encouraging participants to set health-related goals, and rewarding regular use) may help promote physical activity and consequently reduce both physiological and psychological stress, as well as improve exercise self-efficacy. 

Purpose: To compare salivary and hair cortisol production, and psychological stress and self-efficacy questionnaires, in sedentary adults before and after exergaming (n = 12, 56 ± 4 yrs, 162.1 ± 10.9 cm, 79.2 ± 19.1 kg, 39.6 ± 7.7% fat mass). 

Methods: Subjects initially provided saliva and hair samples, and answered a psychological stress questionnaire, prior to engaging in exergaming for 20 min/3d/wk. After 8 weeks, saliva and hair samples were re-taken, psychological stress re-tested, and exercise self-efficacy questionnaires administered. Results: Exergaming reduced salivary cortisol upon waking (0.24 ± 0.02 to 0.18 ± 0.01, p < 0.05) and 30-min later (0.45 ± 0.05 to 0.33 ± 0.03, p < 0.05) and hair cortisol (4.2 ± 0.4 to 2.6 ± 0.2, p < 0.05) as well as psychological stress and exercise self-efficacy in previously sedentary individuals. 

Conclusion: Exergaming decreased both physiological and psychological stress. Exergaming should be considered a viable option for home exercise programs in an effort to help reduce stress and improve overall quality of life.

Keywords: Exergaming; Stress; Self-efficacy; Cortisol; Quality of Life


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Citation: Daniel M Rosney. “Exergaming Intervention in Sedentary Middle-Aged Adults Reduces Cortisol Production and Psychological Stress”. EC Psychology and Psychiatry 9.3 (2020): 01-08.

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