BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
In general, everybody is recommended to be active for at least 150 minutes/week to improve health. Physical activity helps us to participate in daily life activities, stay independent for a longer time and improve our quality of life. A high sedentary time (‘sitting time’) is associated with an increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cardiovascular as well as all-cause mortality.
A new approach to increase physical activity at home is the use of exergames. An exergame is defined as the playing of digital games that requires physical exercise, that is intended as a work-out and during which the participant moves large muscle groups in response to cues. Exergames are recognised to have much to offer in terms of increasing physical activity.
The overall purpose of the study is to determine the effectiveness of tailored exergaming (Heart Farming) at home for inactive patients with chronic heart failure to decrease their sedentary time, improve their daily physical activity, exercise capacity, decrease frailty and improve quality of life.
Our exergame: Specifically for this target group (inactive elderly persons with a chronic disease) we developed with end users an exergame called Heart Farming.
The Heart Farming is an exergame that uses so called mobile Augmented Reality (AR) motion. The game is distributed via Google Play (for android) and AppStore (for iOS). The game can be played both indoors and outdoors and stimulates players to be physically active, either by walking or sit to stand movements tracked by AR mobile technology. The game is built around a theme farming that gives the players a simulated experience of managing a farm and have some fun at the same time. Farm games are popular, since they are visual and players can grow new crop, they can be goal-oriented, and players can set individual goals without feeling any pressure.
Read more about the exergame here.
We will perform a randomized controlled trial to test the effectiveness of the Heart-Exergame intervention.
The main research question is:
Can tailored exergaming at home reduce sedentary time, increase daily physical activity, increase submaximal exercise capacity, decrease physical frailty and increase health related quality of life in inactive persons with heart failure compared to a control group receiving activity advice only?
The study is a single-blind (evaluator and analyst blinded) parallel two-arm randomized multicentre controlled study with 1:1 allocation to intervention and control group. In total 600 patients will be recruited from ten hospitals and randomized to an intervention of exergaming at home for 12 weeks or a control group receiving individual physical activity advice.