In February 2019 researchers from Australia published their review of the medical scientific literature to assess the effectiveness of active video games on clinical outcome measures, as well as adherence and enjoyment in individuals with chronic respiratory diseases. A total of 12 studies were included in the review. The studies mainly used games released for the Nintendo Wii (8 studies) and Microsoft Xbox Kinect (3 studies). There were 5 studies that examined the effects after a single session of an active video game and 7 studies that examined the long-term effects following multiple sessions undertaken over a period of between 3 and 12 weeks. Results showed that multiple sessions of active video games were associated with either similar or slightly greater improvements in outcomes such as exercise capacity when compared with traditional exercise. There were a few studies with unsupervised sessions of active video gaming, but the reported adherence was high and maintained throughout the study period. In addition, active video games were generally reported to be well liked and considered feasible by all individuals participating in the study. Concerning single sessions of active video gaming, there was no significant difference between active video gaming and traditional exercise for heart rate, SpO2 (oxygen level in the blood) and difficulty in breathing. However, active video games were found to be significantly more enjoyable than traditional exercise. The researchers concluded that active video games, undertaken for several weeks, can provide similar or greater improvements in exercise capacity and other outcomes, as well as being more enjoyable, than traditional exercise.
Simmich J et al. Active Video Games for Rehabilitation in Respiratory Conditions: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. JMIR Serious Games. 2019 Feb 25;7(1):e10116