College of Staten Island Studies Wii Fit's Effectiveness as Real-World Exercise

September 6, 2011 -

Dr. Maureen Becker, director of clinical education for the Willowbrook college’s Physical Therapy Doctoral Program, is using three New York City-area students (Rachel Pollack of Willowbrook, Emily Cochran of Grasmere and Shirley Coffey of Brooklyn) — to study the most effective ways in which young people can get a real-world workout with Nintendo's Wii Fit. The study began in June, and focuses mainly on tween girls, because, Dr. Becker says, girls tend to have a higher obesity rate than boys in the same age range. So far, twenty teenaged girls have participated in the research.

The study is also a follow-up to a 2009 study that used less intense games played for five-minute-long sessions. That study found those 15 minutes of cumulative play, participants burned only a little more than half the daily minimum energy expenditure recommended for children, or 150 kilocalories.

“What that was telling us is if we changed some of the games, we could get a higher level of energy expenditure,” Dr. Becker explained.

In the follow-up study, subjects fill out a questionnaire asking about their health, exercise routines and their Wii Fit use at home. Before each session, subjects' blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen levels are calculated, and their weight and height are documented to calculate Body Mass Index (BMI). Sensors are attached to the subject’s feet, thighs and chest, which send information to computer software that calculates energy use.

“When we first look at the data, we look at them as one group, and then we categorize them [based on weight] to see if there are differences in energy expenditure,” Dr. Becker explained. “We want to see if weight has any affect on the games they’re doing and how many calories they burn.”

After the preliminary measurements, the girls do a six-minute warm-up, followed by eight minutes each of the mini-games (Free Run, Super Hula Hoop and Advanced Step). In-between each activity, a one-minute break is taken, during which their blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen levels are checked. They are also asked to rate the difficulty of their workout. After they are done with their session, the girls spend five minutes culling down and relaxing.

Researchers say they chose these particular Wii Fit games because they incorporate the whole body and offer a decent cardiovascular workout.

“If you had to stand there and do the run for 18 minutes [to burn 150 calories], would you do that more than a few times?” she asked. “Probably not.”

After data is collected from this study, researchers say they plan to continue their video game research through the College of Staten Island's (CSI) Physical Therapy Doctoral Program. the next phase, says Dr. Becker, will compare Wii Fit to games on the Xbox 360's Kinect system such as Zumba on the Wii and Zumba for Kinect.

“A large part of this whole thing is to educate parents and health and physical education educators in the field,” Dr. Becker reiterated. “And, also see if we can bring some of what we find to manufacturers of active video games so they can take what games expend the most energy when deciding new video games,” she said, noting, “The Wii has become an exercise tool for so many people.”

Source: Staten Island Live


Comments

Re: College of Staten Island Studies Wii Fit's Effectiveness ...

It also depends on personal discipline. I can vouch from personal experience that Wii Fit works, but it doesn't do anything if you don't put the effort in. I saw a lot of moms pick it up because they think it's an easy and fast alternative to a gym. Which it can be, but again, you need to do the work, instead of hoping the magic board takes 30 pounds off after a session or two.

 
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Have you visited a video game arcade in the last year?:

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james_fudgeThere aren't many left in America08/21/2014 - 1:50am
MechaTama31I sure have. Dorky's barcade in Tacoma, WA.08/20/2014 - 5:56pm
Matthew WilsonI have not been to a arcade in years. I know arcades are still big in japan.08/20/2014 - 5:38pm
Sleaker@AE - Ah no it's called GroundKontrol - I was just referring to it as a Bar-Arcade.08/20/2014 - 4:39pm
Andrew EisenStill looking for confirmation that High Moon Studios (dev behind the PS3/360 versions) isn't working on it.08/20/2014 - 4:38pm
ZenGotcha.08/20/2014 - 4:37pm
Andrew EisenI already updated the story with it!08/20/2014 - 4:36pm
Zenhttp://www.gonintendo.com/s/235574-treyarch-isn-t-working-call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-for-wii-u-either08/20/2014 - 4:36pm
ZenLet me send the link for the Tweet as well...they state Treyarch is not working on it. Grabbing it now.08/20/2014 - 4:34pm
Andrew EisenWhere does it say that "NO dev is working on it"?08/20/2014 - 4:33pm
ZenHere's the link for my last comment: http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/08/20/call-of-duty-advanced-warfare-not-coming-to-wii-u08/20/2014 - 4:24pm
ZenWell, Call of Duty is skipping Wii U completely it seems...they updated that NO dev is working on it. Great way to just skip a market.08/20/2014 - 4:24pm
Andrew EisenYeah, Dave and Busters back in 2011 was the last time for me.08/20/2014 - 4:16pm
ZenWell, I tried lol. We just got a Dave and Busters on the beach but haven't been there yet...may go this weekend.08/20/2014 - 3:52pm
Andrew EisenIt's called The Bar-Arcade? Missed opportunity. I would have gone with Barcade.08/20/2014 - 3:25pm
SleakerThe Bar-Arcade however did have a lot of good pinball machines, they were however always taken as the place was packed..08/20/2014 - 1:17pm
Sleakerso I've been to an Arcade-Bar, not that great of a place has some okay machines, but generally over-packed. And then all the kid-friendly ones have is ticket-games nothing actually good unfortunately :(08/20/2014 - 1:14pm
Andrew EisenIf it has an area dedicated to arcade machines, I'd say it counts. Arcade machine in your house though, nope.08/20/2014 - 12:16pm
ZenDoes it count if you have actual arcade machines in your house?08/20/2014 - 12:01pm
E. Zachary KnightWith the current poll, I guess it all depends on how one defines "arcade". If Chuck E Cheese or similar multipurpose businesses count, then that is a yes for me.08/20/2014 - 11:59am
 

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