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Top diet questions answered

Our nutritionists tackle common dieting queries.

Most Asked Exercise Questions

Q.

Is using Wii Fit good for getting fit?

A.

Our Expert Says ...

Wii Fit has been coined by its makers as 'exergaming' (exercise combined with computer games) however it is important to keep perspective that it is still simply a form of active computer gaming and is NOT a replacement for traditional forms of exercise.

There are many benefits to the Wii Fit but increased fitness is not specifically highlighted as one of them as its level of impact is limited.

Increased activity levels and suggested benefits for weight loss

A study involving 13-15 year olds was conducted by the Liverpool John Moores University and found that players used 2% more energy than by playing on other consoles. They concluded that although it was no substitute for real sport it could contribute to weight management (BBC news, 2007).

A positive influence and alternative way of spending time with family and friends

It has been recognised for its ability to provide a bonding experience among family members and giving a greater opportunity for social interaction, compared to regular TV. Wii Sports has even become so popular that residents at senior centres and retirement homes have formed leagues using Wii Sports Bowling! (Collins, 2007)

A method of tracking your daily physical activity

The Wii Fit allows individuals to log activities they do outside of their gaming. It classifies varying activities as light, medium or heavy, for example...

  • Light - guitar, piano or stretching
  • Medium - cleaning, gardening, walking or painting
  • Heavy - sports such as football (soccer), tennis, swimming, cycling or dancing

There is a concern however that individuals may come to view the Wii as an alternative to exercise / sport - which would have large scale global health complications.

It should be recognised that Wii Fit / Wii Sports are forms of active gaming, an alternative to thumb-based gaming and not a significant solution for weight loss or alternative to actual exercise / sport (Anders, 2008).

The Wii appears to be leading the way in advanced gaming technology and its only potential drawback could be the addictive enjoyment which might distract individuals from using their time for real exercise / sport to achieve their personal fitness / weight loss goals.

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