Study Measures Wii Energy Expenditure

A Nintendo-funded study claims that some Wii games and activities offer energy expenditure levels at least on par with moderate real-world exercise.

Presented at the American Heart Association’s 2009 Scientific Session, the research consisted of putting a dozen people between the ages of 25 and 44 into a metabolic chamber to measure the average Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) or energy expended. Wii Boxing performed the best of the activities offered in Wii Fit, averaging about 4.5 METs, followed by Baseball (3.0), Tennis (3.0), Bowling (2.6) and Golf (2.0).  By comparison, an adult walking at three miles per hour on a flat surface burns about 3.3 METs.

Wii Fit’s single-arm stand challenge measured 5.6 METs, though it was noted that overall Wii Fit activity MET readings were low because of the product’s focus on yoga and balance-based exercises.

Motohiko Miyachi, Ph.D, lead author of the study, added, “The range of energy expenditure in these active games is sufficient to prevent or to improve obesity and lifestyle-related disease, from heart disease and diabetes to metabolic diseases.”

This study’s apparent preference of Wii Sports over Wii Fit when it comes to exercise jibes with findings from the American Council on Exercise reported on last week.

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