Research Says Wii Fit Won't Make You Fit
By: Jen Mueller : 11/20/2009 10:21:17 AM : 122 comments : 4,203 Views
Wii Fit has become a hot trend over the past couple of years. In fact, Wii Fit is now the third best-selling video game of all time. Many people use Wii Fit as a way to get active and have fun. But is it really a workout? Can Wii Fit be used as a substitute for traditional exercise? A new study from ACE (American Council on Exercise), says "no."
The study recruited 16 volunteers, ages 20-24, to test the product. They were given a test to measure their baseline fitness level, and then practiced 6 different Wii Fit games until they could demonstrate proficiency in each. The games were Free Run, Island Run, Free Step, Advanced Step, Super Hula Hoop and Rhythm Boxing.
The results found that none of the activities was sufficient enough to maintain or improve cardiorespiratory endurance as defined by the American College of Sports Medicine. Each of the activities actually burned more calories in "real life" versus doing them virtually in the Wii Fit game. Here were the calories burned results for a 30-minute workout:
Free Run and Island Run: 165 calories
Rhythm Boxing: 114 calories
Super Hula Hoop: 111 calories
Advanced Step: 108 calories
Free Step: 99 calories
Wii Fit burns double the calories of a traditional video game, so it's better than just sitting on the couch. But according to the study, this kind of activity should not be a replacement for your regular session at the gym. If given the choice, researchers suggest using Wii Sports instead of Wii Fit, because Wii Sports involves more continuous jumping and provides a better workout.
If it comes down to it, using Wii Fit is a better option than doing nothing. As with any kind of activity, it's important to find something you enjoy, because then you're more likely to stick with it. But it's also important to understand how effective the exercise is going to be, especially if you're trying to improve your fitness level or lose weight.
Do you agree with the results of this study? Is Wii Fit a workout for you?
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