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  • Article Psychology

    The effects of interactive fitness video games on stress and cognitive function

    Hisashi Mitsuishi
    Togo Ogi

    Exercise that stimulates perceptual and cognitive aspects and simultaneously enhances neuromuscular coordination has both cognitive and psychological effects. We examined the effects of an interactive fitness video game in 18 healthy participants (8 males and 10 females). The participants performed under 1) TETRIS, 2) Radio Gymnastics, or 3) FITRIS (interactive fitness video game) conditions on different days. In this experiment, first there was a 4-minute rest period during which the mean heart rate was measured, followed by a cognitive task. The heart rate was measured to confirm the intensity of the exercise. Then either the TETRIS, Radio Gymnastics, or FITRIS condition was initiated, while the mean heart rate was measured again. Then there was another cognitive task, followed by another 4 minute rest and mean heart rate measurement period. Saliva samples were collected after each period where the heart rate was measured. All of the participants completed evaluations of cognitive tasks (executive functions; inhibitory control and working memory) before and after each condition. The results showed that salivary cortisol decreased in all conditions, and both the FITRIS and Radio gymnastics conditions had a positive effect on executive function (inhibitory control and cognitive flexibility). In particular, it was shown that FITRIS had an increased effect on cognitive flexibility.

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