Active Video Games as a Training Tool for Individuals With Chronic Respiratory Diseases: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW

Stacey J. Butler, Annemarie L. Lee, Roger S. Goldstein, Dina Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Exercise is an effective treatment for reducing symptom severity and improving quality of life for patients with chronic respiratory diseases. Active video games offer a new and enjoyable way to exercise and have gained popularity in a rehabilitation setting. However, it is unclear whether they achieve comparable physiological and clinical effects as traditional exercise training. Methods: A systematic literature search was performed to identify studies that included an active video game component as a form of exercise training and a comparator group in chronic respiratory disease. Two assessors independently reviewed study quality using the Cochrane risk of bias tool and extracted data for exercise capacity, quality of life, and preference of exercise model. Results: Six studies were included in this review. Because of the heterogeneity of the populations, study designs, length of intervention, and outcome measures, meta-analysis could not be performed. Active video game training resulted in comparable training maximal heart rate and dyspnea levels to those achieved when exercising using a treadmill or cycle (n = 5). There was insufficient evidence (n = 3) to determine whether active video game training improved exercise capacity as measured by 6-min walk test or treadmill endurance walking. Conclusions: Although the quality of evidence was low, in a small number of studies active video games induced peak heart rates and dyspnea levels comparable with traditional exercise training. Larger and longer-term randomized controlled trials are needed to establish the impact of video game training for individuals with chronic respiratory diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-90
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation and Prevention
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


  • active video games
  • exercise training
  • exergames
  • respiratory disease

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