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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ZippyDSMleeuuuhhhggg in other news been sick since last night.....uuhggg.....I iwsh it did not hurt so much when my tummy wants to leave my body..02/28/2015 - 11:39pm
ZippyDSMleeBrings me to the Q why alt costumes would be needed in competition anyway... http://www.eventhubs.com/news/2015/feb/28/dead-or-alive-community-aims-ban-over-120-overly-sexualized-costumes-dead-or-alive-5-last-round/02/28/2015 - 11:36pm
MonteThough from a business side, i would agree with the article. While it would be smarter for developers to slow down, you can't expect EA, Activision or ubisoft to do something like that. Nintnedo's gotta get the third party back.02/28/2015 - 4:36pm
MonteThough it does also help that nintendo's more colorful style is a lot less reliant on graphics than more realistic games. Wind Waker is over 10 years old and still looks good for its age.02/28/2015 - 4:33pm
MonteWith the Wii, nintnedo had the right idea. Hold back on shiny graphics and focus on the gameplay experience. Unfortunatly everyone else keeps pushing for newer graphics and it matters less and less each generation. I can barely notice the difference02/28/2015 - 4:29pm
MonteON third party developers; i kinda think they should slow down to nintendo's pace. They bemoan the rising costs of AAA gaming, but then constantly push for the best graphics which is makes up a lot of those costs. Be easier to afford if they held back02/28/2015 - 4:27pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2015/02/28/the-world-is-nintendos-if-only-theyd-take-it/ I think this is a interesting op-ed, but yeah it kind of is stating the obvious.02/28/2015 - 2:52pm
prh99The government probably doesn't need an app, but I was think more along the lines of a company that was going to sell the collected info. “If you're not paying for the product, you are the product” sometimes even if you pay.02/28/2015 - 1:50pm
E. Zachary KnightWhat better way for the government to keep track of you than to get you to install an app that lets you insult the government.02/28/2015 - 11:03am
prh99No, but I looked it up and it's basically spyware. Their privacy policy says their apps tracks among other things your location and browsing habits via cookies.02/28/2015 - 8:20am
Ryan RardinHas anyone here heard of an app called iCitizen? It's basically Yelp for politicians.02/28/2015 - 5:16am
Andrew EisenAh, not linked in the way you (and everyone else) want and expect. That's true.02/27/2015 - 10:06pm
Matthew Wilsonthey are not linked in a way that tracks purchases though. the fact that they have to send a code for the other system shows that they are not linked in the way it counts.02/27/2015 - 9:39pm
Andrew EisenAccounts are already linked. Have been for quite a while. Also, Mario vs. Donkey Kong was announced as a cross-buy title during last January's Nintendo Direct.02/27/2015 - 9:25pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.vg247.com/20…/…/27/olli-olli-3ds-wii-u-cross-buy/ I wounder if this is a sign that Nintendo may finally link accounts across the 3ds/wiiu in the near future.02/27/2015 - 9:18pm
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MechaTama31I don't even want to know...02/27/2015 - 8:22pm
ZippyDSMleeFun? I can do fun…. I think LOL. Dungeons 2 is on preorder but not via steam... >> Hell I am breaking all kinds of personal butthurt rules to even THINK about pre order...02/27/2015 - 8:12pm
E. Zachary KnightHad some fun discussions about that dumb dress on Facebook. I opened the original picture in GIMP and sampled the colors and determined them to be Blue and Gold. People still say I am wrong.02/27/2015 - 7:41pm
 

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