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back to article Wii workouts unlikely to improve fitness

Trying to keep your nippers in trim with a Nintendo Wii workout may be pointless. Research suggests motion-controlled videogame systems do very little to help kids fulfill their daily exercise requirements. The study, conducted by a team from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, saw 78 children handed Wii consoles …

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Anonymous Coward

What about DDR?

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Pffffft

Dancing Stage Euromix.

Still got my steel dance mat from almost a decade ago.

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Boffin

On a sample of 1

I can tell you that my lad quickly worked out that he didn't need to jump around with any Wii title - he just needed to be able to do an action that the Wii interpreted as the right one... often far more accurately than when doing the "proper" action.

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Yep!

It's no problem at all playing Zelda while sitting comfortably on the couch... ;-)

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Van

"The research team said they were unsure"

A waste of time and money research. I could have told them there's a big difference between playing Wii bowling, baseball and tennis (providing your style is get up off the floor), than sitting at the desk playing COD with a mouse.

"motion-controlled videogame systems do very little to help kids fulfill their daily exercise requirements"

Who said they did 'fulfill' those requirements?

A walk in the park doesnt fulfill those requirements, but Im sure the medical team would agree it is a healther option than sitting on the sofa twiddling thumbs.

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Holmes

Re: "The research team said they were unsure"

Anything kids or the family do together is at least something, but maybe having an active pet is better, and taking said pet out for a walk in the park might be better, at least you get some sunlight and maybe even see some other people.

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WTF?

personal experience

Having had seriously sore muscles after more intense bouts of skiing on Wii Fit and being genuinely tired after long playing sessions on pretty much any of my games, i think it's safe to say that it's a workout. Perhaps not as much as kids would need, but surely not "nothing".

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Anonymous Coward

Is there a competition to see who can draw conclusions from useless data?

"The research team said they were unsure whether such games actually required less energy than expected to play - or if the kids were simply compensating for exercise they received on the Wii with periods of inactivity during the day.

Either way, the study concludes that there is no evidence to suggest motion-based videogame systems improve fitness."

I read that as saying the researchers did not separate the actual time playing the games and comparing that, but then claim that there is no difference between the two types of game.

Maybe they should have also checked which sports the kids were playing, as you can do very little movement with archery, but, boxing certainly lets you work off some energy. It's surprising just how bloodthirsty 5-year-olds can be.

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bowling, golf, boxing, dancing or any of the other so called 'fit' titles that cause me to put a shoulder out can be done with a mere flick of a wrist if you are under 13 years old, with much better results to boot.

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Kinect?

Not normal someone who has much good to say about Kinect, but I think that system would do a better job of giving some fitness benefits, due to it watching for full body motions..

It is too early to tell whether motion control systems in general do not give any fitness benefits. Just looking at the first system on the market is not really enough to reach this conclusion. At least Kinect watches you to makes sure you are actually doing the proper motion with your whole body. Unlike Wii and PS3 controllers which you can fooled with approximations of the motion, like flicks etc.

Do the study on Kinect and then I will be impressed if you find no evidence of any fitness benifit...

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FAIL

Control Group?

And where is the control group who had no Wii at all?

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Coat

Re: Control Group?

They ended up with bladder problems.

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SOLUTION!

Make the damned Wii controller wireless.

Attach rubber cords/bungee cords to the feet or foot plates and the controllers or harnesses or wrist attachments. Maybe kinect and Wii, making WE CONNECT happen will increase calorie burn and improve muscle tone, making it easier to later on do PE at school or sports elsewhere.

Somebody flag this as a prior art statement into various IP and patent databases, please! I don't expect royalties, but I also do not expect the idea to be hijacked for the gatekeeping control of a single company.

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Meh

Much ado

Wii Sports vs Super Mario? Big deal, neither uses the balance board so it isn't like the little rotten buggers darlings have to get up off their backsides.

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Pint

My brother and I bought our mother a Wii and Fit (one of us bought the console, the other the pad and games) a while ago. She was very keen on some of the "exercises", including the simulated jogging .. less so after I beat her high score while sitting in the recliner, since waving the controller in an obscene-looking gesture is enough to satisfy the game.

It does give you a figure for how many calories it thinks you're burning each time, though, and the figures are low enough I doubt it's over-estimating. "Woo, I burned off 7 calories in those 5 minutes of jumping! That's enough for ... oh. A crisp. Sod this, I need a pint."

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What an inane piece of research

Overall exercise levels are a function of the individual's choice (and, in the case of children, parental encouragement).

An equivalent to this research would be to conclude that it's not worth kids taking up karate (with a small footnote explaining that the ones who do don't spend so much time playing football).

I haven't used a Wii in years and have no idea if it's any good as an exercise tool, but as is often the case I come away from this research none the wiser on the question asked but with yet another data point confirming that if you ask a stupid question then your years of research will lead to a stupid answer.

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Anonymous Coward

Hard luck fatties!

You can stick the Wii in the shed, along with the slendertone, the magic trainers, the trampette and whatever other ridiculous gadgets you wasted your money on, so you could "work out" without having to put your Big Mac down or look away from the Jeremy Kyle show.

Best fall back on the old "It's my metabolism" line.

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But I lost over 2 stone

In the last 12 months playing Zumba!!!!

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Thumb Up

Re: But I lost over 2 stone

It's pretty much like anything else. If you want a high score it's easy enough to cheat but if you want to lose weight you're just going to have to bust a move.

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Anonymous Coward

The research team said they were unsure whether such games actually required less energy than expected to play - or if the kids were simply compensating for exercise they received on the Wii with periods of inactivity during the day.

or more susinctly "we collected some data, not enough to be meaningful"

Personally I believe the Wii improves fitness, never got out of breath playing a PC game...

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MJI
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Motion games

None of the Wii ones seem to be accurate, I try properly and get beaten by a small child not doing it properly. Definately not impressed by Wii sports.

The balance board does seem to work but is boring, but I'd rather go for a walk than watch cartoony graphics around an island.

The one game which does exercise and can't fool is sports champions on PS3 - that does tire you, and small children cannot get away with mad flicking, however again I think I would prefer a walk.

The one motion game I play a lot (well over 200 hours) has made no difference to my weight, but then I just sit down with fore arms supported and shoot a lot.

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Anonymous Coward

Why we are BUST!

Public money wasted on THIS!!!!!

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