Thursday, December 27, 2007

Working out with Wii? Think Again

And finally, I come bearing some bad news. It seems that working out via Wii? Not really that great a work-out after all. While it looks like the Wii does help you burn more calories than a more sedentary game system, we're talking 180 calories an hour for something like tennis - only 20 calories more than the can of soda sitting next to me. In contrast, actual tennis burns around 320 calories an hour.

Now granted, more movement is good - but for all those parents who bought the Wii this Christmas with goals of getting their coach potato kids up and both moving and healthier? This is bound to be disappointing news.


kiwihelen said...

One of my patients has been using her Wii for exercise for 5 months now. She has increased her exercise capacity from less than 5 minutes to over 45 minutes during that time.

I expect at her next appointment, we will be organising a referral to exercise on prescription with the local leisure services.

I agree, it isn't as good as "real" tennis, but as a tool to gain some fitness and confidence before hitting the gym, it is marvelous.

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with kiwihelen. Sure, you're probably better off running 5 miles every day. But for people who are getting no exercise to begin with? I think it's better to get a little than to discourage for not getting "enough."

SabrinaW said...

While the kcal/hr rate is not very high, Wii is a lot more appealing to people who may not be athletically or socially inclined, and promote a minimal baseline of activity. Also, I would not be surprised to see the time spent actively playing Wii would be greater than what the average person spends in high-impact cardiovascular activity.

The best weight-loss and fitness regimens are ones that are sustainable, and speaking as a gamer, I think this is step in the right direction.

That said, it is important not to delude oneself into thinking that eating the stereotypical couch potato diet will be completely mitigated by playing Wii.

Anonymous said...

My 23 year old daughter is a health nut, works out, eats healthy, runs mini marathons...said the Wii game "kicked her butt". Her comment we played that thing for several hours..........may not be a day at the gym, but better than the thumb work out most games give. I suppose it depends on the game module they are playing...but according to her it was did give some excercise and even her couch patatoe friends did it.