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.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    sharpshooterbabe says:

    Nintendo should now make a pilate ball for the game. I love pilate balls. I work out on it at home. I love it while listening to music or watching tv.



    "It’s better to be hated for who you are, then be loved for who you are not." – Montgomery Gentry

  2. 0
    Vake Xeacons says:

    Gotta go with ya on that one. Never really felt it with Wii Fit. I can kinda break a sweat after an hour (a FULL hour) of Wii Fit Plus. But a run around the block would do better. Wouldn’t be as fun though. It works but let’s just say I didn’t get it for the exercise.

  3. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    The fact it is Nintendo-funded makes it just as discountable as any study that NIMF, or JT or Leland Yee and company funded into game violence


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  4. 0
    Cerabret100 says:

    yeah i know. These people saying it’s not helpful, i’m thinking "really? the super long hoola-hoop twice in a row doesn’t do anything for me?"

    Not to mention the woderful tactic of making my little brother do all the running island ones in order to tire him out so he’ll leave me the hell alone worked pretty well for something that doesn’t apparently do much.*

    *note: my mom was actually the one to suggest this plan, which is kind of sad :)

  5. 0
    nightwng2000 says:

    I haven’t tried the Wii at all yet, let alone the sports games.

    But I have tried these:

    Very nice boxing game.  If only the gloves weren’t wired.  The pad on the floor senses when you lean or move, meaning more than your arms get a work out.  Though your arms get the most.

    DON’T do this one by yourself if you plan on getting far!  Especially if you’re out of shape to begin with.  But there is a LOT of workout for the arms and upper body.

    I haven’t tried this one, but saw it on the main page of the site.  Looks fairly nice.

    Now, it’s true I’m no fitness expert, but if you want even a vague workout with your video game, these give a few extra abilities that the Wii might not yet give.  And it’s certain more than just dancing.


    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as

  6. 0
    Flamespeak says:

    I am not gonna call the study biased since it was funded by Nintendo, although it is an excellent point.

    No, instead I shall call the study retarded because it assumes that people will always be up and flailing like a moron when playing the games instead of taking the usual gamer’s approach and doing simple wrist flicks to play the games. I do admit, when the whole set up is running and a full group is around playing we do go all out because it is part of the fun, but the bulk of solo sessions were just simple gestures and no zaniness.

    Oh, and the boxing is probably the most intense workout because the device doesn’t register punches worth a crap and people have to punch like the Fist of the North Star in order to win the bulk of the fights.

  7. 0
    TBoneTony says:

    Bias study, since it was Nintendo funded…

    Most studies need to be independently funded and independantly assessed.

    Trying to prove something from within your own walls is not something I could consider as fair and it too much open to scrutiny.


  8. 0
    Cerabret100 says:

    Must be pretty accurate to real swimming then, them 500 yard freestyles were killer. sad part was it was the only thing i was actually good at…well okay 6 min 49 sec isn’t really great. but of our "distance" regulars i was the fastest (wasn’t really our team’s key event).

  9. 0
    SeanB says:

    I’m onboard.

    Couple weeks ago i started playing Mario + Sonic at the olympic games. There’s one challenge where you have to do a swimming relay, and worse yet, it’s not all about winning. you just have to finish between 3:20 and 3:30. That’s over 3 minutes of CONSTANT motions with your arms. Afterwards my right shoulder and arm locked up so bad that it hurt for a week.

    Yes, some games are EXTREMELY strenuous.

Leave a Reply