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Retired Elite Athletes' Physical Activity, Physiological, and Psychosocial Outcomes During Single- and Double-Player Exergaming

McDonough, Daniel J.1; Pope, Zachary C.2; Zeng, Nan3; Lee, Jung Eun4; Gao, Zan1

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: December 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 12 - p 3220–3225
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003386
Original Research
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McDonough, DJ, Pope, ZC, Zeng, N, Lee, JE, and Gao, Z. Retired elite athletes' physical activity, physiological, and psychosocial outcomes during single- and double-player exergaming. J Strength Cond Res 33(12): 3220–3225, 2019—Elite athletes (i.e., athletes who play sport professionally) are a population who commonly exceed recommended physical activity (PA) guidelines and have higher health statuses compared with the general population. However, elite athletes transitioning into retirement often become physically inactive given they no longer require long hours of training and competition, and their physiological and psychosocial health suffers as a result. Therefore, this study's purpose was to examine differences in retired elite athletes' acute PA, physiological, and psychosocial outcomes during single- and double-player exergaming. Twenty retired Olympic athletes (18 females;

= 27.3 ± 4.3 years) participated in 2 separate 20-minute exergaming sessions (a): Xbox 360 Reflex Ridge single player and (b) Xbox 360 Reflex Ridge double player. Subjects' situational interest, enjoyment, and self-efficacy were examined using validated questionnaires; rating of perceived exertion (RPE) using the modified Borg RPE scale; and moderate-to-vigorous PA, steps, and energy expenditure tracked using ActiGraph GT3X+ accelerometers. Repeated-measures analysis of variances revealed no significant differences for any outcome between the 2 exercise sessions except for RPE (F (1, 38) = 4.6; p < 0.05; η2 = 0.11), which was higher in the single-player session compared with the double-player session (10.3 ± 2.3; 8.7 ± 1.6, respectively). Observations indicated double-player exergaming to be perceived as less intense than single-player exergaming despite similar PA and physiological outcomes, suggesting retired elite athletes may better adhere to exergaming in a double-player mode.

1School of Kinesiology, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota;

2Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis, Minnesota;

3Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; and

4Department of Applied Human Sciences, University of Minnesota-Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota

Address correspondence to Dr. Zan Gao, gaoz@umn.edu.

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.