Objective: Exergames have been suggested to increase the public's physical activity and to benefit cardiovascular health, particularly among the youth. However, not many studies compared the physiological and perceived responses between exergames and the authentic sports especially for elite athletes. This study aimed to investigate the physiological and perceived responses in different levels of Nintendo® Wii Fit™ U rowing exergames in one group of elite rowing athletes.
Materials and methods: All participants were asked to perform the authentic rowing on the indoor rowing machine on the first day and to play the rowing exergames on the second day, in three levels with 1 hour rest between levels. Oxygen consumption (VO2), lactate concentration, heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and muscle soreness scale (MSS) of the elite athletes were measured in three levels of rowing exergames and were compared with those measured in indoor rowing.
Results: Percentages of HR ranged from 57% to 64% and from 67% to 82% of peak HR in males and females, respectively. Percentages of RPE and MSS obtained from the three levels of rowing exergames ranged from 34% to 55% and from 2% to 33% of the peak RPE and the peak MSS, respectively, in authentic rowing.
Conclusion: Physiological and perceived responses of elite rowing athletes could not reach their highest response in authentic rowing even for the hard level of exergames. This study contributed direct data on the physiological benefits of exergames against authentic rowing.
Keywords: Elite athletes; Exergames; Rowing.