Can Wii Fit Make You Fit?

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Citations The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

Wii Hula and Step Games Can Provide Exercise Benefits—at Intermediate or Higher Levels, Reports The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

Newswise — Philadelphia, Pa. (March 9, 2011) - Playing two Wii Fit video games—Step and Hula—can provide adequate exercise to improve health and physical fitness, reports a study in the March issue of The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, official research journal of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

These Wii Fit games "can be used as an effective mode of physical activity to improve health in adult women," according to the study by honors students Jennifer R. Worley and Sharon N. Rogers, and their advisor, Robert R. Kraemer, Ed.D., FACSM, of Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond. However, the researchers emphasize that players "should strive to participate at higher (intermediate) game levels" to gain exercise benefits.

Active Video Games Have Potential to Improve Fitness
Healthy young women were studied while playing Wii Fit games: Step, a step aerobics workout; and Hula, a simulated hula-hoop game. Oxygen consumption, energy expenditure, and other measures of the body's response to exercise were assessed as players advanced through different levels of each game.

At the starting levels, neither game produced high levels of oxygen consumption or perceived exercise intensity. However, as the women advanced to the intermediate levels, the exercise intensity increased. In both the Step and Hula games, the intermediate level produced energy expenditure equivalent to a fairly brisk walking pace of 3.5 miles per hour.

Of the two games, the Hula game provided higher oxygen consumption and energy expenditure. "This could be attributed to the fact that the hula involves more total body movement exercise than step and uses more muscle groups," Ms. Worley and coauthors write. At the intermediate level of the Hula game, players could burn approximately five calories per minute.

Video games have become a popular recreational activity for many people. One study found that up to 45 percent of U.S. adults play video games, with evidence that those who spend more time playing have lower physical (and mental) health. In recent years, several new games have been introduced that seek to incorporate physical activity into video gaming. The new study is one of the first to evaluate whether these games really provide sufficient exercise to improve health and fitness.

Based on the new findings in healthy young women, at least some Wii Fit games—particularly the Hula game—do indeed provide meaningful exercise. "[The] findings suggest that the Wii Fit can be used as an effective activity for promoting physical health in this population," the researchers conclude. However, they stress that the games don't provide much benefit at the starting level—players who want a real workout will need to play at the intermediate or higher game levels.


About The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
The editorial mission of The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (JSCR) is to advance the knowledge about strength and conditioning through research. A unique aspect of this journal is that it includes recommendations for the practical use of research findings. While the journal name identifies strength and conditioning as separate entities, Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading provider of information and business intelligence for students, professionals and institutions in medicine, nursing, allied health and pharmacy. Major brands include traditional publishers of medical and drug reference strength is considered a part of conditioning. The journal wishes to promote the publication of peer-reviewed manuscripts which add to our understanding of conditioning and sport through applied exercise science. The JSCR is the official research journal of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

About the National Strength and Conditioning Association
The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is an international nonprofit educational association founded in 1978. The NSCA develops and presents the most advanced information regarding strength training and conditioning practices and injury prevention. Central to its mission, the NSCA bridges the gap between the scientist in the laboratory and the practitioner in the field. By working to find practical applications for new research findings in the strength and conditioning field, the Association fosters the development of strength training and conditioning as a discipline and as a profession.

About Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (LWW) is a leading international publisher for healthcare professionals and students with nearly 300 periodicals and 1,500 books in more than 100 disciplines publishing under the LWW brand, as well as content-based sites and online corporate and customer services.

LWW is part of Wolters Kluwer Health, a leading provider of information and business intelligence for students, professionals and institutions in medicine, nursing, allied health and pharmacy. Major brands include traditional publishers of medical and drug reference tools, journals, and textbooks, such as Lippincott Williams & Wilkins and ; and electronic information providers, such as Ovid®, UpToDate®, Medi-Span®, Facts & Comparisons®, and ProVation® Medical.

Wolters Kluwer Health is part of Wolters Kluwer, a market-leading global information services company focused on professionals with annual revenues (2009) of €3.4 billion ($4.8 billion), approximately 19,300 employees worldwide and operations in over 40 countries across Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and Latin America. Visit our website, YouTube or follow @Wolters_Kluwer on Twitter for more information about our market positions, customers, brands and organization.


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