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Is Wii Fit Effective?

A recent study was performed by the University of Mississippi to examine changes in physical activity and fitness levels after 3 months of home use of the Wii Fit interactive video game. The purpose of the study was to determine the effectiveness of the game for home use without the supervision of an exercise professional. Therefore, like any individual after a purchase of the game, use was entirely at the discretion of the participants. Pre and posttest measurements were obtained from the 8 families involved in aerobic capacity, % body fat, balance, muscular endurance and flexibility. At the end of the study, the only significant improvement was the aerobic capacity in the children. There were no other significant changes in any of the other fitness variables. One result of the study that I find most noteworthy is that there was a dramatic decline of 82% in the daily use of the Wii Fit over the second 6 weeks of in-home use. This considerable drop signifies that adherence to an in-home exercise program is seriously lacking. How many individuals have spent money on home exercise videos and equipment, only to find them collecting dust? How many use your treadmill for a clothes rack? The study concluded that simply owning the in-home interactive exercise game does not guarantee its use at levels sufficient to bring about changes in fitness. If this scenario rings a bell, maybe it’s time to consider hiring a professional. A qualified Personal Trainer will keep you accountable and on task!

By: Sharon Powell

References:

Owens, S.G., Garner, J.C., Loftin, J.M., van Blerk, N., Ermin, K. (2011). Changes in Physical Activity and Fitness After 3 Months of Home Wii Fit Use. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, Volume 25, 3191-3197.

 

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  16. While researchers admit Wii Fit is better than sitting on the couch, the fitness game should be used along with other physical activity. Porcari also suggests Wii Sports might be the better exercise title for Wii owners.

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