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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Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2015-07-31/khan-academy-s-sal-khan-studio-1-0-full-show-7-30- not game related, but this is a good interview.07/30/2015 - 8:52pm
Goth_SkunkFinally, I never misspelled Chipman's name. So, feel free to try your luck again, but pick an opponent you can beat.07/30/2015 - 8:32pm
Goth_Skunk@Technogeek: I paid for the experience of the seat, and upon completion of the movie determined that the extra for the seat wasn't worth it. Additionally, your opinion is not law. You thinking the movie is crap does not make it so.07/30/2015 - 8:31pm
Craig R.1st I heard of Pixels was seeing trailer in theater. Was interested until Sandler appeared, then it became an instant 'Nope'.07/30/2015 - 4:52pm
james_fudgesick burns are not always allowed in the shoutbox.07/30/2015 - 4:28pm
MechaCrashIt's especially funny because I said "you'd have to be a moron to enjoy it," and Goth boasted about enjoying it, as if that does anything to change my opinion of the movie or of him.07/30/2015 - 4:19pm
TechnogeekMatthew: Back when that law was first implemented, I kept trying to come up with a scenario where it would be anything other than an unmitigatedd sisaster. Nothing ever came to mind.07/30/2015 - 4:16pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/07/new-study-shows-spains-google-tax-has-been-a-disaster-for-publishers/ no duh Sherlock!07/30/2015 - 4:10pm
TechnogeekI can't even make a joke about that. It's like poking fun at Donald Trump's hair.07/30/2015 - 4:01pm
TechnogeekSo you willingly paid more money than you needed to in order to watch a crappy Adam Sandler movie (but I repeat myself), just to spite a reviewer that you can't even spell the name of properly.07/30/2015 - 4:01pm
Goth_SkunkMy one regret was paying extra for a DVX seat, which jostles and vibrates in relation to the action on screen. What a waste of money.07/30/2015 - 3:55pm
Goth_SkunkYes, I did watch Pixels just to spite Chipman. I was originally going to see Minions, but moved it down the list. AND I ENJOYED IT. So nuts to you, MechaCrash.07/30/2015 - 3:44pm
Matthew Wilson@phx works fine for me, but I did it the long way. I upgraded, made a recovery drive, than did a full install.07/30/2015 - 3:24pm
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PHX CorpWell I'm offically on Windows 10 Laptop Wise(I had to download the Windows 10 Media tool from Microsoft to get it now rather than waiting for the update through windows update)07/30/2015 - 12:16pm
ZippyDSMleeI dunno I'd go to see it, seems liek dumb fun, better than half assed serious stuff that has so many holes large enough to drive mac trucks through(coughinterstellercouch).07/30/2015 - 10:58am
Andrew EisenGoth - Wait, you went to see Pixels just to spite Chipman?07/30/2015 - 10:49am
MechaCrashYou can see Pixels, which requires you to be a moron to enjoy it, or you can actually spend that time and money watching something actually good. Gosh, what a choice.07/30/2015 - 10:49am
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