Ring-Fit Adventure™: Psychological and Qualitative Outcomes of a Novel Active Video Game Intervention View PDF

*Kameron B Suire
Department Of Internal Medicine, Division Of Physical Activity And Weight Management, University Of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas, United States

*Corresponding Author:
Kameron B Suire
Department Of Internal Medicine, Division Of Physical Activity And Weight Management, University Of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas, United States

Published on: 2022-12-28


Introduction: There is evidence to suggest a potential relationship between the self-determination theory (SDT) and active video games (AVG’s). With the resurgence of AVG’s through Ring-Fit Adventure, this potential relationship needs to be further investigated. It is also pertinent to understand how the participants feel about Ring-Fit Adventure after using it, especially as it may help explain any changes in SDT variables. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of Ring-Fit Adventure on SDT-related variables and understand the experiences of the participants after the intervention.
Methods: 15 adult women participated in Ring-Fit Adventure sessions, which took place twice a week for 45 minutes lasting over 8 weeks. Psychological constructs falling under the realm of SDT were measured by validated surveys. Interviews were conducted at the conclusion of the study and interpretive phenomenological analysis was used to detail how participants made sense of their experience with Ring-Fit Adventure.
Results: Paired samples t-tests from pre-post revealed significant increases in autonomy t(13)=6.27, p<0.00. Competence t(13)=7.05, p<0.00. Relatedness t(13)=4.96, p<0.00. There were significant decreases in more extrinsic regulation: Amotivation(13)=2.49, p=0.03, external regulation t(13)=6.27, p=0.01, interjected regulation t(13)=2.98, p<0.00. There were significant increases in more intrinsic regulation identified regulation t(13)=3.31, p=0.01. Integrated regulation t(13)=6.71, p<0.00. Intrinsic regulation t(13)=5.41, p<0.00. Participants enjoyed the ability to choose exercises, which may support the autonomy findings. The participants also felt confident that they would be able to complete Ring-Fit Adventure sessions at home in the future, which may support the competence findings. All participants stated they enjoyed using Ring-Fit Adventure and 10 of the 14 subjects that completed the study also stated they either intended or wanted to purchase it for themselves to use after the study.
Conclusions: After completing 8 weeks of sessions using Ring-Fit Adventure, there were significant changes in all SDT-related variables. Participants enjoyed using this technology and the experiences with the game may support some of the SDT-related findings. Future studies should focus on increasing and diversifying the sample and determining the duration of the effect.


Self-Determination Theory; Active Video Games; Ring-Fit Adventure; Physical Activity


Over the last decade active video games (AVG’s) have emerged as a unique opportunity to merge popular entertainment with potential health benefits. AVG’s prompts physical activity or exercise through interactive gameplay [1]. As almost 277 million Americans play video games [2], and over 75% of adult gamers spend at least three hours a week playing video games in the United States [2], AVG’s provide an opening for exercise within the home. Furthermore, AVG’s may be more important as we see the effects of social distancing restrictions and loss of physical activity opportunities due to COVID-19 [3-7].
There is evidence to suggest a potential relationship between the self-determination theory (SDT) and video games [8], but also AVG’s [9-12]. The video game technology utilized in these studies is more than a decade old don’t utilize more updated technology. New technology may present new information on the relationship between SDT and AVG’s especially as AVG’s experiencing a resurgence.
Although the popularity of AVGs on home consoles appeared to peak with Wii Fit™ on the Nintendo Wii™ [13], a new AVG titled Ring Fit Adventure™ played on the Nintendo Switch™ is starting to challenge that narrative. The Nintendo Wii, Nintendo’s previous best-selling home console, sold about 101 million units, with Wii Fit selling over 22 million units [13]. The Nintendo Switch™ has now surpassed the Nintendo Wii with 114.33 million units sold as of September 2022 [14]. Ring Fit Adventure™ is closing in on the total sales of Wii Fit with about 15 million units sold despite only being on the marketplace for 3 years [14]. Wii Fit was a cultural and video game sales phenomenon, and we are witnessing a similar occasion once again. Ring Fit Adventure™ is a unique game that uses a ring, similar to a Pilates ring, for resistance in numerous upper and lower body exercises. The intensity and difficulty of the exercises increase as the levels are surpassed. Throughout the gameplay, exercises are detailed in written and visual demonstrations. Only two studies have investigated the Ring Fit Adventure™. One conducted among children found it to require higher levels of energy expenditure compared to the Nintendo Wii, dance mats, and Xbox Kinect [15]. The other study examined patients with chronic low back pain and found Ring Fit Adventure™ increased pain self-efficacy and reduced pain [16]. As minimal data exist on the psychological and qualitative effects of Ring Fit Adventure™ further investigation is required. Therefore, the purpose of this intervention was to investigate the impact of Ring Fit Adventure™ on SDT-related constructs over an eight-week intervention. This intervention also had the goal of detailing the experiences of the participants through qualitative interviewing. Finally, while many feel video games are primarily played by young boys, the average age for a video game player is 31 years old and 45% of those who play games are female in the United States [2]. In addition to this, it appears obesity impacts females at a higher rate than males globally. It was estimated that 15% of all females were obese in 2016 compared with 11% of males [17]. One study also found that a staggering 87% of 151 countries included in the analysis showed a higher female obesity prevalence compared with males [18]. However, 31.7% of women are inactive while 23.4% of men are inactive globally [19]. Therefore, we decided to purposely sample adult women.

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