Effects of Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure Exergame on Pain and Psychological Factors in Patients with Chronic Low Back Pain

Games Health J. 2021 Jun;10(3):158-164. doi: 10.1089/g4h.2020.0180. Epub 2021 Apr 22.


Objective: In recent years, there has been an increase in research on the therapeutic effects of exergaming, but there have been few studies on these types of interventions for chronic low back pain. In this study, we hypothesized that the Nintendo Ring Fit Adventure (RFA) exergame would be effective for patients with chronic low back pain, and we conducted a randomized prospective longitudinal study. Materials and Methods: Patients with chronic low back pain were included in this study. Twenty randomly selected patients (9 males and 11 females, mean age 49.3 years) were included in the RFA group, and RFA exergaming was performed once a week for 40 minutes for 8 weeks. Twenty patients (12 males and 8 females, mean age 55.60 years) served as the control group and received oral treatment for 8 weeks. Pain and psychological scores (pain self-efficacy, pain catastrophizing, and kinesiophobia) were measured and analyzed before and after 8 weeks of treatment in both groups. Results: In the RFA group, low back pain, buttock pain, and pain self-efficacy were significantly improved after 8 weeks of RFA exergaming, but there was no significant improvement in lower limb numbness, pain catastrophizing, or kinesiophobia. In the control group, no significant improvement was observed after 8 weeks of oral treatment. Conclusion: RFA exergaming increased pain self-efficacy and reduced pain in patients with chronic low back pain. Future treatment protocols should be developed to improve pain self-efficacy. Approval code: 2894, School of Medicine, Chiba University.

Keywords: Chronic low back pain; Exergaming; Psychological factors; Self-efficacy.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Games, Recreational / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Low Back Pain / psychology
  • Low Back Pain / therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Management / methods
  • Pain Management / psychology
  • Pain Management / standards*
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self Efficacy
  • Video Games / psychology
  • Video Games / standards
  • Video Games / statistics & numerical data