The rise of "exergaming"

May 17, 2022

Daily exercise is an integral part of many of our lives, and is a staple for a healthy lifestyle. However, gym memberships can be costly, and trudging to the crowded buildings day after day takes planning and dedication, and sometimes it can feel downright boring. As an alternative to traditional weights and treadmills, exergaming, or exercise based video gameplay, has taken a prominent stance in the workout world.

An article by summarizes a University of Georgia study on the topic of exergaming, explaining, “[The study by the University of Georgia] showed that exergamers felt high levels of satisfaction and a sense of autonomy over their exercise regimen… Traditional exercise, such as weightlifting or running, doesn't appeal to some people. But they might be open to active video gaming because it doesn't seem like exercise. It's just fun.”

The concept of exercising while gaming is certainly nothing new, with games such as Dance Dance Revolution and Wii Sports serving as pioneers in the activity. Since then, the interest in such games has grown exponentially, with numerous consoles creating more interactive and dynamic content designed for consumers to create their own entertaining workout regime.

The study conducted by the University of Georgia “measured physical activity and exertion during the exercise sessions with accelerometers, heart rate monitors and a scale that measures how hard participants believed they were working out. The researchers also used a variety of scales to assess participants' enjoyment of their workouts and their motivation for working out, among other things.”

55 people were divided into two groups: one that worked out traditionally with a group and equipment, and one that used active video games to exercise. While the traditional group put in a more intense workout than the exergamers, “the exergamers had a better time. And that, coupled with a sense of ownership over their exercise routine, makes it more likely that they'll keep it up and possibly be more open to other physical activity in the future,” cited the study.

The low-pressure guidance that exercise-based video games provide creates a more easygoing, fun environment for the exerciser. And for those that don’t respond as well to constant hyper-intense direction, exergaming can provide the introduction they need to begin a lifelong routine.

Plus, with interactive graphics and some story-driven games, exergaming can be an excellent way for children to begin to get involved with physical activity.

Sami Yli-Piipari, co-author of the study, said, “‘When you are buying games for your children or for yourself, try to buy games that have some activity in them. If you try to force your children to be active, they may do it because you're telling them to. But the likelihood they continue to be active when you turn your back is low.’ “

For kids and many adults, playing a video game doesn't feel like exercise.”

Exergaming is a fun, low-stress way to get a workout in if you're tired of traditional gyms. With this new face of workout routines, exercise is becoming more accessible to a wider range of people.

Capitol Tech offers many opportunities for students to help design and create systems to improve the daily lives of people just like those in the exergaming world, such as our game development minor. For those who enjoy gaming in a general sense, Capitol also offers a Bachelor's of Science in esports management, where business and technology intersect as students learn to manage a team of strategic, high-stakes virtual athletes.

To learn more about these programs, visit and peruse the various courses and degrees offered. Many courses are available both on campus and online. For more information, contact