Heart Rate Balancing of Exergames

Exercise video games combine entertainment and physical movement in an effort to encourage people to be more physically active. Multiplayer exercise games take advantage of the motivating aspects of group activity by allowing people to exercise together.

However, people of significantly different fitness levels can have a hard time playing together, as large differences in performance can be demotivating. To address this problem, we present heart rate scaling, a mechanism where players’ in-game performance is based on their effort relative to their fitness level.

Specifically, heart rate monitoring is used to scale performance relative to how closely a person adheres to his/her target heart rate zone. We have demonstrated that heart rate scaling reduces the performance gap between people of different fitness levels, and that the scaling mechanism does not significantly affect engagement during gameplay.

For more information

Tadeusz Stach, T.C. Nicholas Graham, Jeffrey Yim and Ryan Rhodes, Heart Rate Control of Exercise Video Games, in Proceedings of Graphics Interface, ACM, pp. 125-132, 2009.


Tadeusz Stach, Nick Graham, Jeff Yim, Ryan Rhodes