Effect of both dance exergame and a traditional exercise on state anxiety and enjoyment in women

Background: Anxiety disorders affect many people around the world and women are more affected than men. Physical exercise might be an important nonpharmacological tool to ameliorate these disorders. The aim of this study was to compare state anxiety level and enjoyment between a dance exergame session and a traditional aerobic exercise. Methods: Twenty healthy young women completed 3 visits, on separate days. At the first visit, participants performed a graded exercise testing and familiarization procedures. In other two visits, participants completed two exercise sessions (dance exergame and traditional aerobic exercise), with similar intensities and duration. Each session lasted approximately 45 minutes. State anxiety level was evaluated before, immediately post- and 10 minutes post sessions. Enjoyment was evaluated immediately post sessions. Results: There was a significant interaction between session and time (p<0.001), a main effect of time (p=0.007) but no significant main effect of session (p=0.057) on state anxiety level. State anxiety level immediately post (p<0.001) and 10 minutes post-session (p<0.001) were significantly lower than pre-dance exergame session. There were no significant changes between pre-, immediately post and 10 minutes post-traditional aerobic exercise session (p>0.05). State anxiety level at immediately post dance exergame session was significantly lower than immediately post traditional aerobic exercise session (p=0.026). Dance exergame session was significantly more enjoyable than traditional aerobic exercise session (p<0.0001). Conclusions: Dance exergames might be used as a tool to reduce anxiety level in young women.

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