Anxiolytic Effects of a Single Session of the Exergame Zumba ® Fitness on Healthy Young Women

Objective: Exergames appear to be a promising tool to increase energy expenditure and physical fitness. However, less is known about the effect of a single session of an exergame on anxiety state. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a single session of the exergame Zumba(®) Fitness (Xbox 360 Kinect(®)) on the anxiety state of healthy young women. Materials and methods: Forty healthy young women (22.9 ± 3.7 years; 62.43 ± 8.75 kg; 1.64 ± 0.06 m; 23.05 ± 2.75 kg/m(2); [Formula: see text]O2max of 41.23 ± 10.61 mL/kg/min) performed ∼20 minutes of the exergame Zumba Fitness using the Xbox 360 Kinect. The state anxiety (State Anxiety Inventory) and level of enjoyment (Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale) were evaluated before and after intervention. Rating perceived exertion (Borg scale) and heart rate (HR) were also tracked and collected. Results: A single exergame session significantly reduced the state anxiety of the participants (P = 0.0230, effect size = 0.62, CI 0.34-0.90). However, no statistically significant correlation was found between enjoyment and absolute (r = -0.10, P = 0.5345) or relative change in state anxiety (r = -0.17, P = 0.2869). A moderate positive correlation was found between enjoyment and performance in the exergame Zumba Fitness (r = 0.59, P = 0.0001). The mean HR during exergames was 137 ± 19 bpm (∼70% of predicted HRmax). Conclusions: The exergame Zumba Fitness seems to be a useful tool to reduce state anxiety in a nonclinical sample of healthy women.

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