The Wii Is Fun, But It’s Not A Good Workout

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Self Portrait Sunday 01-06-08 from FlickrA study that was funded by Nintendo determined what I had already learned on my own: the Wii is fun, but it’s not a good workout.

They have measured passive gaming (finger twiddling) with active gaming (like Wii Sports) and this is what they found:

In a typical week … active gaming rather than passive gaming would increase total energy expenditure by less than 2%.

I found that out myself back when the Wii first came out. I tested various games with my heart rate monitor.

On the whole, the Wii Workout isn’t that great. It’s not quite intense enough to get your heart rate up for an extended period of time and it isn’t too much of a muscle workout. Is it exergaming? Not really… Is it better than any other gaming console for getting you out of the couch? Heck yeah!

I don’t consider the Wii to be a workout, but it’s a fun game to play and gets the family playing together more than any other video game I’ve seen. I really had big hopes for the Wii and exergaming, but this year has been more of a disappointment in that realm.

The best exergaming I found over the last few years has been the Nike+ and a free membership to Runner+. Running on the treadmill every day to beat strangers online has gotten my heart racing FAR more than the funnest of video games.

Via: Techdirt: Nintendo’s Own Study Show Wii Not So Great As Exercise


6 Responses to “The Wii Is Fun, But It’s Not A Good Workout”

  1. Fitness Guy Says:

    I am a big fan of the Wii. I just got one for Christmas and it has been good exercise for us but it is really not going to replace a cardio or a weight workout.

    The way that I am looking at the Wii these days is that I can have a good time playing with the family and still get a kind of secondary workout but the Wii is never going to replace my bike, elliptical trainer or my weights and bench.

    Coming in the Spring or so is a Wii fitness program and software which looks like it will be a kind of Aerobics on the Wii, this will be nice.

    Another way to look at the type of exercise that the Wii is to me is to look at my yesterday. I did weights in the morning and then took my daughter skating and both kids out sledding. The weights were my primary exercise for the day and the skating was fun but after the sledding and the riding down and walking up the hill I was bagged. This was still just secondary exercise though.

    What do youo think? How can we classify the Wii type of exercise?

  2. Larm Says:

    Come on! Playing the boxing game that comes with wii makes me short of breath! It’s gotta do some good!

  3. Piratemum Says:

    We have Dance Dance Revolution for the Wii and it’s an amazing workout! Our whole family is having a blast and sweating up a storm – we each have a dance pad so we can dance together.

  4. Em Says:

    Based on experience (me, hubby, sister, daughter, son) I do not agree with this completely. I think it depends on WHAT you play and HOW you play.

    Wii Sports Boxing? That’s a workout. Maybe not like the real thing… definitely not as intense as Tae-bo… but I defy anyone to really get into the game (which means getting off the couch, standing up and doing the full movements, not just using wrist-action) and not find it to be at least moderate exertion. Same thing with Wii Sports Tennis! LOL.

    But yeah, depending on what you’re playing and if you’re just going thru the arm/wrist motions, it might be no exercise at all (e.g. Wii Sports Golf).

  5. Brett Young Says:

    The Wii (Wii sports and Wii Fit) is NOT a replacement for any other training routine, it was never meant to be and never will. As far as being a useful ‘device’ for exergaming and Fitness in general, it is outstanding!

    I use Wii Tennis (with a ExergamingFinland pending patented ‘Reality Racket’) and Wii Boxing (including training mode) to get my client’s Heart-rates to 125-140 (fitness level considered) for 45 min…PERFECT for fat loss with fun.

    We use the Wii in conjunction with a plethora of state-of-the-art Exergaming innovations, including: Bodypad-PS2 Martial arts, Wii DDR and Reebok core with Wii boxing. The answer to Exergaming success doesn’t lie in one single product but the application of these products as a Single Package.

    When you apply this package to lowly motivated, battle weary or just disillusioned gym/aerobic junkies, the reaction of seeing people laugh, smile and enjoy their training produces an overwhelmingly positive result. And to be honest, the success or otherwise, of a program, is hardly ever due to the equipment, its almost entirely due to motivation and boredom.

    Enjoy your treadmill. 😛

    Brett Young / Head Instructor Exergaming Finland Ltd.

  6. Misty Says:

    I completely disagree! I found this article, check it out. http://blog.cleveland.com/health/2008/08/clevelandstateresearchers_fi.html

    Doing the boxing game for 30 minutes equals hitting a boxing bag for 30 minutes! It is a great way to burn energy and calories. I am a nurse and my husband is a doctor and we both recommend the wii (boxing especially) for anyone wanting to get a good workout without feeling like you’re dragging yourself to the gym everyday. It is fun and gives you motivation to keep working out. If you aren’t getting you’re heart rate up playing this game then you aren’t playing it the way you should. You have to get up and move around not sit on the couch and move your arms. We are also using it in our hospital now for patients requiring physical therapy and have had wonderful results!

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