Study: Fat, Old People Can Burn Calories Using Wii

A research team led by University of Delaware Associate Professor Elizabeth Orsega-Smith looked into the calorie consumption of healthy, yet overweight senior citizens who played Wii Sports games.

The 24 participants in the study had a body mass index (BMI) ranging between 26 and 39 and were in the age range of 66 to 78. BMI in the range of 25-29.9 indicates a person is overweight, while a 30+ BMI is a sign of obesity. Using wrist-mounted accelerometers, the researchers measured “caloric expenditure” during 30-minute long Wii play sessions.

According to Medical News Today, when playing Wii Bowling by themselves, participants burned between 20-176 calories, while playing in teams resulted in 18-89 calories being burned. Baseball play sessions led to the expenditure of 22-144 calories and Wii Tennis led to 17-72 calories being burnt off.

Orsega-Smith noted, “Wii playing may be a vehicle for physical activity participation, especially for those older adults who do not have access to a fitness facility or who may have physical limitations to their mobility.”

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