Supporting an Interval Training Program with the Astrojumper Video Game

Andrea Nickel, Hugh Kinsey, Tiffany Barnes and Zachary Wartell


We present the design and evaluation of Astrojumper-Intervals, a new version of our Astrojumper exercise video game, that explores methods of improving upon the previous game in both aspects of enjoyment and exercise effectiveness. We also investigate how interval training, an established exercise technique used to increase the efficiency of time spent exercising, may be incorporated within a video game. A user study of 34 adult participants compared Astrojumper-Intervals with the original Astrojumper game in terms of exercise effectiveness (measured using heart rate, energy expenditure, and ratings of perceived exertion); and game enjoyment (measured with Likert scale ratings and qualitative feedback). We found that Astrojumper-Intervals elicited statistically significantly greater energy expenditure and heart rate increases than the original game. Also, despite a wide variety of motivations to exercise and opinions of using video games as exercise tools among participants, the response to the games was overall very positive, with 27 of 34 participants preferring the new Astrojumper-Intervals game.