The Addition of a Video Game to Stationary Cycling: The Impact on Energy Expenditure in Overweight

Bryan L. Haddock*, Shannon R. Siegel, Linda D. Wikin
Department of Kinesiology, California State University, San Bernardino

© 2009 Haddock et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Kinesiology, California State University, San Bernardino; Tel: (909)537-5359; Fax: (909)537-7085; E-mail:



The prevalence of obesity in children has reached epidemic proportions with over 37% of children aged 6-11 years in the U.S. being classified as “at risk for overweight” or “overweight.” Utilization of active video games has been proposed as one possible mechanism to help shift the tide of the obesity epidemic.


The purpose of this study was to determine if riding a stationary bike that controlled a video game would lead to significantly greater energy expenditure than riding the same bike without the video game connected.


Twenty children, 7-14 years old, with a BMI classification of “at risk for overweight” or “overweight” participated in this study. Following familiarization, energy expenditure was evaluated while riding a stationary bike for 20 minutes. One test was performed without the addition of a video game and one test with the bike controlling the speed of a car on the video game.


Oxygen consumption and energy expenditure were significantly elevated above baseline in both conditions. Energy expenditure was significantly higher while riding the bike as it controlled the video game (4.4 ± 1.2 Kcal·min-1) than when riding the bike by itself (3.7 ± 1.1 Kcal·min-1) (p<0.05). Perceived exertion was not significantly different between the two sessions (p>0.05).


Using a stationary bike to control a video game led to greater energy expenditure than riding a stationary bike without the video game and without a related increase in perceived exertion.

Keywords: Obesity, Oxygen consumption, Kcal, BMI.