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Virtual feedback for compliance to prescribed exercise for clinical exercise physiology clients: A randomised crossover trial


Visentin, D and O'Brien, JA and Freeman, C and D'Orazio, A and Barker, K and Williams, AD, Virtual feedback for compliance to prescribed exercise for clinical exercise physiology clients: A randomised crossover trial, Journal of Clinical Exercise Physiology, 11, (3) pp. 91-98. ISSN 2165-6193 (2022) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2022 Clinical Exercise Physiology Association

DOI: doi:10.31189/2165-6193-11.3.91



To investigate the effect of a virtual feedback environment on compliance to prescribed session exercise load and to understand the user experience related to exercise participation.

Material and Methods

Adult clients referred to an exercise physiology clinic wore a heart-rate monitor while performing prescribed exercise twice per week over two, two-week intervention blocks. Participants undertook aerobic exercise both with and without a virtual feedback environment in random order. Compliance to prescribed exercise was assessed as heart-rate relative to prescribed levels both within and across sessions. Participants reported average pain and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) for the session and completed the PACES-8 enjoyment of exercise questionnaire at session completion. Treatment effects were assessed longitudinally using mixed-effects linear regression. At study completion, two focus groups (n = 12) were conducted and reported using thematic analysis.


Participants (n=14) demonstrated higher mean compliance to prescribed exercise under the treatment (101.1% SD=9.7) compared to control (50.4% SD=10.3) condition (MD = 50.76%; 95% CI: 21.2% - 80.3%; p=0.001). Similar scores were observed under both the treatment and control conditions for RPE (12.3 vs 12.2: p=0.857), pain (2.37 vs 0.85: p=0.290), and enjoyment of exercise (41.2 vs 38.6: p=0.486). Focus groups identified themes related to biofeedback, interactivity and engagement, goal setting and the visual environment.


Immersive feedback technologies can be effective to assist individuals with chronic clinical conditions to perform aerobic exercise within prescribed intensity ranges. Wide acceptability requires linking the exercise modality to the immersive environment and developing clear and meaningful goals.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:exercise interventions, aerobic exercise, older adults, compliance, exercise intensity
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Exercise physiology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Health related to ageing
UTAS Author:Visentin, D (Dr Denis Visentin)
UTAS Author:O'Brien, JA (Dr Jane O'Brien)
UTAS Author:Williams, AD (Associate Professor Andrew Williams)
ID Code:149140
Year Published:2022
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2022-03-14
Last Modified:2022-12-01

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