Home-Based Fitness Gaming for Diabetes Prevention


A study on the effect of "gaming-based" home exercise on heart health and blood glucose parameters 

Physical inactivity is leading to a massive increase in obesity worldwide, which is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Although it is known that an active lifestyle is associated with many health benefits, few people manage to exercise regularly in their daily lives. For this reason, new strategies are required to counteract the rising incidence of obesity and diabetes. Inspired by current trends in the fitness market, Sphery Ltd. developed an immersive (running in a virtual environment) and motivating fitness game, the "ExerCube". The "ExerCube" enables a functional whole-body workout that trains both physical and cognitive functions and adapts to the users’ individual fitness level. It has already been shown that the "ExerCube" is an effective training method that is more motivating than conventional forms of training. However, the original "ExerCube" is a complex system: it requires a relatively large amount of space and is associated with high costs. We are developing a scaled-down version in this project, which can be used at home with the usual technical equipment. This enables the use of an effective training method even in difficult situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In the present study, we are testing the effects of the scaled-down "ExerCube" system on determinants of diabetes and heart disease.

Financial support

  • Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)


  • Sphery Ltd., Zürich
  • Zurich University of the Arts: Anna Martin-Niedecken

Principal Investigator