Objective: To evaluate whether virtual reality games (VRGs) in stroke survivors produce significant and reproducible heart rate and oxygen consumption (V˙o2) responses during their execution, corresponding to an intensity between the anaerobic threshold (AT) and the respiratory compensation point (RCP).
Design: Single-subject, repeated-measure design.
Setting: Stroke survivors registered from a rehabilitation program.
Participants: Chronic hemiparetic stroke survivors (N=12; 10 men; mean age ± SD, 58±12y) rated at 3 or 4 in the Functional Ambulation Categories.
Interventions: Participants underwent, in a random order, 2 identical sessions of VRGs (console Xbox 360 + Kinect) and 1 control session (38min watching a movie). The VRG sessions were composed of 4 sets of VRGs (3min of tennis, 1min for changing the game, and 4min of boxing) interspaced with 2 minutes of rest.
Main outcome measures: Heart rate and V˙o2 were measured during the experimental sessions and compared with heart rate and V˙o2 obtained at AT and RCP assessed during a maximal cardiopulmonary exercise test.
Results: Heart rate and V˙o2 during VRGs had good reproducibility (intraclass correlation coefficients, ≥.91 and ≥.85, respectively; coefficients of variation, ≤6.7% and ≤13.7%, respectively). Heart rate during VRGs was similar to AT and significantly lower than RCP (P≤.05), while V˙o2 was significantly lower than AT and RCP (P<.05).
Conclusions: An acute session of VRGs composed of tennis and boxing games using the console XBox 360 + Kinect promotes reproducible responses of heart rate and V˙o2 that corresponded, respectively, to AT and below AT, characterizing a low-intensity aerobic stimulus.
Keywords: Anaerobic threshold; Heart rate; Oxygen consumption; Rehabilitation; Stroke; Virtual reality exposure therapy.
Copyright © 2018 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.