Wii Sports seemed like couch potato’s dream come true – a console offering to help you get fit and active while playing games. But a new study sponsored by Nintendo itself says that the health benefits of playing Wii Sports have been somewhat exaggerated.The study, reported in the British Medical Journal, found that Wii Sports players used just 2% more energy than players of other video games – burning an extra 250 kJ per hour. Waa. 🙁


  • What the news report fails to mention is how much actual movement these 13-15 yr olds made to burn only 60kcal (250 kJ) per hour. A 13-15 year old can quickly work out that to play many of these games you can get by with just flicking your wrist. In contrast younger kids tend to get very carried away and make very exaggerated movements (I’m speaking from experience here having got one for my kids for Christmas and seen the effect it has on 5-8 year olds).

    Seriously though just ask some real questions:

    – Is 11 kids a decent amount to have a study and control group (is it even a study with that few)?
    – Is one hour’s playtime enough to draw a conclusion?
    – Did they know how to play before they started or did they spend the first 1/2 hour figuring out how it works?
    – Were they left to go wild by themselves or did they have to play conscious of being watched by the scientists?
    – Did the kids know each other and were therefore comfortable waving their arms round like idiots amongst strangers?
    – Which games did they play and for how long per game type? Golf or bowling are considerably less demanding than boxing!

    As it stands it has no more value than saying scientists studied a small (eg 11 kids, like the real study!) group of teenagers walking to the shops and determined from the low calorie count that walking is not an effective form of exercise!

    Note: I am in no way affiliated with the makers of the Wii or any other games console… though I wonder who financed that report?

  • I think thats a rather broad statement…

    Lets take Golf on the Wii. Not very strenuous.
    Now lets think about Boxing… Seriously, I *sweat* every time I play that. It’s much more of a work out.

    Surely it’s all in the choice of games?

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