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back to article Research suggests Wii Fit is no flab fighter

Adults should think twice before considering Wii Fit as a way of shifting those post-Christmas pounds, a University of Minnesota study has hinted. After measuring the impact of in-home Wii Fit use by eight North American families over a six-month period, researchers concluded that the game failed to produce any “significant …

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Anonymous Coward

Nintendo never said it was

The company has said that Wii Fit can helppeople become more aware of their body, but has never said that in itself it's a way the flab. In any case, didn't you run a story that said roughly the same thing as this one, months ago?

Wii Fit is being used in come hospitals as it's been found to be very useful in rehab programmes, so in certain, specialised cases there are health benefits.

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OFI
FAIL

Wii Fit in barely working up a sweat and not losing weight shocker

"The families used Wii Fit for an average of 22 minutes each day during the first six weeks of it entering their homes, but for less than four minutes per day by the end of the three-month period."

Anyone who has ever done any sort of exercise will tell you 22 minutes of exercise is pretty much a waste of time. 4 minutes? you'd lose more weight sneezing.

Was a useless bit of research "We got together 8 very lazy and fat families and saw what happened when they didn't use a piece of equipment correctly over a period of 6 weeks"

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FAIL

So it doesn't work - only it does work?!

This says a couple of things that you don't need a scientist to understand.

1: Kids like consoles.

2: If you use something it has more of an effect than if you don't.

As kids got significantly fitter (doubtless cos they used it) and adults didn't (cos they didn't, maybe cos the kids were on it), how can a -ve headline be appropriate? Esp one that mentions 'flab' = fat as opposed to aerobic fitness which was found to improve in those that used it.

The Wii-Fit will definitely take market from several segments of massive fitness industry. They're bound to want to portray it as uselss. Something to watch out for down the line.

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Maybe it still doesn't work

It could be the three months with the Wii included a period of extra activity, for example, summer holidays, just being outside instead of stuck behind a desk could be a cause of better fitness. It doesn't sound like the kids were all that interested either if the thing was used less than four minutes a day at the end.

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Digital Scales

The WiiFit is best used as a set of digital scales.

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Coat

Not recommended

I wouldn't weigh your weed or coke on it though if I was you, especially after someone with smelly feet has been on it.

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RPF

4 minutes a day?

No wonder there was no benefit after 6 months!

Compare that with the average of 5 HOURS a day of TV-watching in the US and is it a surprise that the lard-quotient is almost unchanged?

I bet if they stuck to 30 minutes or more a day there would be significant benefits, but I guess Wii Fit is just plain DULL?

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FAIL

It is dull!

Yup, I found that the Wii Fit worked very well - at first.

I lost about a stone with it, but there is a major problem. Despite there being loads of "games" and yoga (neither of which are any real use to lose weight) it ends up that there were only 2 activities that I found worked for me and only 2 levels on each of those.

So I ended up with a total of 4 possible things to do, each of which I needed to do 2 or 3 time in a row to get a useful workout. None of these activities had any variation in them from go to go and you cannot have music or the TV on while doing them. So it very quickly became mind-numbingly boring!

So, I lost interest and put the weight back on! If only I had the money and time to drive to a gym regularly (and no there is not one within walking distance as some of us live in the countryside!)

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Boffin

drive to a gym in the countryside??

or you could, you know, run in the countryside you live in, no?

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FAIL

But it IS a fitness booster.

Indeed you could just as well have written this from an entirely more +ve standpoint concentrating on the evidence that it DOES boost fitness, esp in kids. And had the family thing as the footnote.

You did the opposite. And this is a 1st gen. In future, when people have grown up with this stuff, more adults will use it. And it'll be better. Trashing it now is just weird. Iphone 1 was bullshit and everyone that bought it got ripped off, but that doesn't mean future iterations can't achieve more...

Imagine if crappy writing like this had sunk everything that has ultimately improved our lives but wasn't perfect at launch. Washing machines... Vaccum cleaners... Dish washers... Computers...

My rubber-keyed speccy was SHITE, yet oh so good and look what crap like that begat. Journalism like this on the interwebs. Rubber-keyed speccys are rolling in their graves.

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Shock new

Sticking an bike in your garrage and never riding it dosen't make you fit either.

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Anonymous Coward

Wii Fit, THANK YOU EL REG

I've been scratching my head trying to think what to buy my wife for Christmas.

Perfect, she likes aerobics, and WiiFit is games built around aerobics. Excellent!

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Silver badge

Shock result

Not using fitness equipment for more than 4 minutes per day doesn't magically make you fit.

Obviously, this is not proof one way or the other, but it does show what we all know - exercise is boring and most people stop doing it after an initial period of enthusiasm.

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Shock Research Revealed

Today, researchers at the unvirsity of the "bloodly obvious to anyone but us" (aresole department) revealed the shocking news that people who eat well and use the treadmill they bought last year are somehow (we haven't worked this bit out yet) losing weight compared to the fat lards who sit on thier butts eating crap and use their folded up treadmill as a clothes horse for their oversized oshkosh clothes do. The university has asked the government for 30 million (insert currency here) to help fund this research to find out why this might be!!

Tomorrow we will bring news of the research into the driving on the "wrong side of the road may or may not help ease congestion" study.

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as others have said....

hardly a proper test.... 22 minutes a day - seems to be set up to fail. Not exactly a scientific study...

For a more thorough testing; checkout:

http://www.4colorrebellion.com/archives/2008/04/02/the-great-experiment-wii-fit-%E2%80%93-final-report-or-how-i-lost-10-pounds-in-7-weeks-by-playing-video-games/

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That's because

Everyone only plays the marble-tilt game and the ski jump game, both of which require no effort at all.

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FAIL

Gym membership doesn't improve health

A new study released has proven that owning a gym membership card doesn't improve your health nor makes you more fit. Scientists have looked at two sets of people, one who has a gym membership card and one who doesn't. Initially, the sample portion who had the card made all one trip to the gym which improved their fitness by a small amount. However, over the year long study, it was found that 99% of the people who had been given these cards for the sake of the study did not attend the gyms anymore and so their fitness didn't improve.

...

Seriously, it's like making a study of people who own running shoes and who never run.

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FAIL

Wow, they haven't missed the point at ALL, have they?

Well done those chaps for completely misunderstanding the point of the Wii Fit.

Abridged version:

You lose weight by adjusting your calorific intake:calorific usage ratio such that you burn more than you ingest. You can do this by eating less, working out to burn more, or preferably a combination of both.

Eating 5 times your daily carb requirement then doing ten minutes of Wii Fit will achieve fuck-all. As would the same behaviour with 10 minutes spent in the gym, or anywhere else.

The problem with this is that the researchers have tried to pretend that the Wii Fit either is, or is marketed as, the ONE SINGLE THING THAT WILL SOLVE YOUR WEIGHT PROBLEM. It's not, and Nintendo have never said otherwise. Stop giving morons publicity for moronic statements, for Christ's sake, it'll only encourage them.

Full Disclosure: The GF & I have had a Wii & Wii Fit for about 7 months, and in that time have found it very useful to help change habits. I've lost 2 and a half stone along the way and have gained a very useful morning wakeup routine. The majority of the change was to how often we eat and how much we eat. We could have achieved the same result with a scales, a notebook, some graph paper and a fitness DVD. The Wii Fit succeeds in simplifying the task of being aware of your overall food intake and physical condition, but it still requires people to be able to put the fork down in order to work.

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FAIL

What a crock of Americanised junk.

I do martial arts and use the wii. If you put the time into the work outs I get the same feeling of muscle and aerobic workout despite actually just being a muppet in time with a tune or a silly game. It isn't a replacement for exercise but certainly helps improve it.

Patients at my health clinic are shedding stone with using them. When asking some how they lose weight, the reply "I got this Wii..." Is the usual response. All adults, none of them kids.

It's time taken on it and effort put into it. And any amount of time moving round is better than an amount of time infront of a TV or twiddling your thumbs on an XBOX.

Try the bike ride on advanced, or the rhythm kung fu and then the boxing exercise on advanced for half an hour and tell me you ain't sweating.

From Memory, 4 minutes is EITHER 1 calorie or 4 calories on most of the games. (20 on some) hardly going to equal the VAT of Coke you have after.

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Silver badge

WFM

In the six months after I got a Wii Fit, I lost over 1st, without ANY other changes to my lifestyle. In the six months after my (launch-day) Wii broke down, I put over 1st back on. Probably something to do with using it at least 30 mins a day. It's not rocket surgery, is it? Getting a new Wii for xmas, obviously.

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Doesn't take long

To realize you can achieve the required movements lying on the sofa munching a burger quaffing a 32oz coke.

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Boffin

In other news

Earth is round, grass is green, pain hurts triple shocker exclusive!

The only people who ever truly believed Wii Fit would help them lose weight are people who are already such absolute pros at kidding themselves (and being kidded by the likes of Slimfast, Weight Watchers etc.) that buying a product would somehow magically make them thin with the absolute minimum of effort.

You cannot spend yourself thin.

But never fear... For all these people there's a guaranteed no-fail, 100% success rate, tried and tested time and time again diet. It's called "The Exercise Diet". And by 'exercise' they don't mean moving 2 feet off the sofa for 20 minutes of stretching and balance training before picking up the fork again.

Argh.

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Instant gratification society

Part of the problem is that we're such an instant gratification society. We've fallen for all the "lose weight fast" nonsense filling the advertising breaks but failed to notice the small print which points out that "blah blah blah works as advertised alongside improved diet and regular exercise".

We go to the gym for half an hour 3 times a week for a month, then get pissed off and quit when we aren't magically transformed into the lean, muscular people you see on the adverts.

We get Wii Fit, use it for 22 minutes a day while still surviving on a diet of drive-thru cheeseburgers and spending most of the other 23 hours and 38 minutes asleep or sitting down. Then get disillusioned when we don't shift any lard until we're down to playing for 4 minutes a day just so we can say we did something (and I bet that's really an average of the 2 people who continued to put some effort in, and the rest who just gave up entirely and watched Dancing With The Stars instead).

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Silver badge
Happy

You cannot spend yourself thin.

Technically you can - just spend so much on IT/books/accommodation/Uni.fees that you have nothing left to buy take-out with.

I was a very thin Uni student. Then I got an income. :-/

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Happy

No complaints

Our wii fit hasn't made us into NFL material, but we've gotten benefit out of it. For one thing, using a wii fit means you aren't eating tater chips and sitting on your duff watching bad tv. Second, our sons' balance has improved. Third, I've used some of the exercises to help out my bad knee. I won't proclaim it cured, but it feels less stiff and seems to bother me less now. And some of the games are fun enough (such as snowboarding, soccer goalie, ski jump, etc) that it keeps the boys from whining about not having Halo on an X-Box.

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Shocker!

You mean computer simulated exercise isn't as good as exercise?

You know what would be better than a Wii? A walk/ jog/ run in the fresh air. Get off your backsides and do some proper exercise. GF's lost 2 stone over the last year and gone from a size 16 to a 12 by eating smaller portions and getting more exercise. It's hardly rocket science

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FAIL

erm

'8 north american families' - theres your reason (yay stereotypes)

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Thumb Up

Study is alright, you misunderstood its goal

The study has a good point, only you all seem to miss it.

The researchers didn't try to find out if using a console 4 minutes a day will make you slim. They wanted to find out if buying a WiiFit makes you slim. Out there we have lots of people who hate any kind of sport, but hate being overweight too. Such people often think "If there was any easy and interesting sport, I'd do it, and then I'd loose weight". So when they hear "video game that requires you to move a lot", they buy it in the hope that this is THE product which will get them to exercise and consequently their lose fat. So the contribution of this study to human knowledge isn't that "a little exercise isn't enough to make you lose weight", it is "the WiiFit isn't exciting enough to motivate a couch potato to exercise regularly". Which is quite an interesting result, e.g. if you happen to be a health insurance company and some obese insuree wants you to pay for his new toy.

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FAIL

Same crap - different day

This is from the SAME UNIVERSITY that said its A-OK to sleep around , oh i'm sorry, "casual encounters", and you NOT feel any effects from it. They got the results of this "study" from a MAIL-IN questionnaire. Since this study is coming from the same University, i'm starting to think they either have very LOW standards for how a serious social or societal experiment should be carried out. Or they are squirting out studies so it seems like the University of Minnesota is ACTUALLY doing something beneficial for mankind and can obtain more grants. Wait, you know what... I think its both.

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On the other hand...

So what exercise /can/ cause weight loss with only four minutes per day usage?

If they'd throw a set of sensors around it, it could be the stair stepper DDR.

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Headmaster

Associate Professor of Health and Exercise Science?

What is "Associate Professor of Health and Exercise Science" supposed to be? What's next, "Professor of Dactylography"?

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