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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MaskedPixelanteProbably dihydrogen monoxide, the most dangerous substance in the universe.09/21/2014 - 10:14am
james_fudgewell I hope he called the police so they can let us all know.09/21/2014 - 9:07am
quiknkoldIt's pretty gnarly. Depending on what it is, it could be worse than white powder or a fake bomb.09/21/2014 - 9:06am
james_fudgeI just looked it up on UPS.com09/21/2014 - 8:56am
james_fudgeand expensive for an American to ship to London.09/21/2014 - 8:55am
E. Zachary KnightThat is pretty scary. Would have been worse if it were a fake bomb or white powder.09/21/2014 - 8:49am
quiknkoldThere's some more tweets regarding it with more pictures09/21/2014 - 8:09am
quiknkoldMilo Yiannopoulos was mailed a syringe filled with clear liquid. He claims it's anti gamergate harassment. Mentioned on his twitter twitter.com/Nero/status/51366668391625523209/21/2014 - 8:07am
Andrew EisenNow, having said that, what sites are you reading that are claiming that if "you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem" or that gamers are "obligated to stop harassment"? Or was that hyperbole too?09/21/2014 - 1:03am
Andrew EisenFirst of all, ONE person in the Shout box suggested an obligation to call harassers out on their harassing but only after YOU brought it up. Plus, Techno said "when you see it happening." If you don't see it, you're not under any obligation.09/21/2014 - 1:02am
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Craig R.Btw, the guy who swatted security expert Brian Krebs? He got picked up recently. It can be done.09/20/2014 - 8:55pm
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Sleaker@Technogeek - How do you call someone out that anonymously calls in a SWAT team, or sends threats to people?09/20/2014 - 7:04pm
Technogeek"It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so." I'd say you're certainly obligated to call them out when you see it happening.09/20/2014 - 5:17pm
SleakerNow if you disagree with anything in my last 2 posts then we obviously have a difference in world view, and wont come to any sort of agreement. I'm fine with that, maybe some people aren't?09/20/2014 - 5:09pm
SleakerIt also doesn't mean that just because a news outlet says that Gamers are the problem and you self-identify as a Gamer, you're immediately the problem. It also doesn't mean you're obligated to stop harassment from all gamers that are doing so.09/20/2014 - 4:59pm
 

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