Nintendo's Own Study Show Wii Not So Great As Exercise

from the honest-results! dept

There’s been a little buzz around the news of a new study in the UK pointing out that playing games on the Nintendo Wii really isn’t a particularly good substitute for real exercise, as some Wii-players would like to believe (and I’ll admit that I’m guilty of playing some Wii boxing in lieu of real exercise). However, what may be even more interesting is the fact that the study was actually paid for by Nintendo. Perhaps we’ve just become so cynical about corporate “studies” like this in the past, that it’s relatively shocking to find one paid for by a company that shows the opposite of what the company probably hoped to see — and then to still see that study actually published somewhere.

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Companies: nintendo

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Comments on “Nintendo's Own Study Show Wii Not So Great As Exercise”

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PaulT (profile) says:

Common sense?

I don’t know why people keep making a big issue out of the Wii in this way. Playing the Wii is clearly not a substitute for real exercise. However, it’s definitely better exercise than ‘normal’ gaming.

So, it’s a great health tool for people who would otherwise just sit around playing standard games or watching TV, not so good for people who use it instead of going to the gym or playing sports.

Common sense, I would have thought?

Mike C. says:

Re: Common sense?

Many have posted that “it’s better than regular gaming”, but for my wife, it’s also better than regular exercise. She has a herniated disk and massive leg pain that 14 doctors have so far been unable to resolve over the last two years. Regular exercise of 15 minutes or more (even walking) just aggravates the problem leading to muscle weakness.

We got a Wii for our kids for Christmas and the activity level of the Wii Sports seems to be just about right. Strenuous enough for the muscles weakened from inactivity to get some very light repetitive movement, yet not so strong that it makes things worse. I would not see this as any substitute for “regular” exercise, but for anyone who hasn’t exercised in years (or decades), it can certainly be a nice starting point.

Anonymous Coward says:

I gave my family a Wii for Christmas. I think it all depends on how you play. If you sit your lazy butt on the couch and simply flick the remote with your wrist then you aren’t really getting any good exercise. However, if you are standing and actively moving, swinging your arms, ducking and weaving then you can get some decent low impact exercise. It’s all about how you use it.

Moderation (profile) says:

Hmmm... why is this even a topic of discussion?

Of course the Wii isn’t an exercise machine! Its a video game console. If you want to do real exercise, then go outside and do some work or go to the gym.

The bigger point is, the Wii is at least more involving physically then most other gaming activities. I’ve seen Wii systems being used in retirement communities. For them, the wii is a good way to getting them active and involved socially. I don’t think you can say any of that is a bad thing.

4-80-sicks says:

Nintendo trying to market Wii for exercise?

Maybe Nintendo though is trying to convince people that the stand alone Wii is no substitute for exercise so people are more inclined to buy their Wii Fit board and programs, eh?

They will then come back with an all out advertising blitz in Q1 when they release Wii Fit touting it’s great exercise potential.

Yeah, probably not. You may not have noticed, but they never touted that about the Wii in the first place–only other people said that. It would be silly and they know it. That’s probably why they commissioned this study.

tesia says:


actually i don’t agree with you. i think that the wii can be great exercise for the elderly people because it really can help them exercise because they are moving their arms around so much it has to do something and as where they are weak it it’s good that the wii doesn’t have extra weight it’s justgood exercise because you’re moving them around so much but at the same time they are having fun i just really do believe that the wii is a good thing.

HC (user link) says:

There are some good Wii exercise games

It’s true the Wii is never going to replace regular running, biking, going to the gym or any other kind of “real” exercise, but on the other hand it’s a great way to work out when the weather’s bad or when you just are too mentally drained at the end of the day to get to a gym.

Some games are better than others. Here’s a link to a good list of Wii exercise games.

Personal Trainer (user link) says:

Substitute for 'real' exercise

I don’t think Nintendo are claiming (or trying to claim) that the Wii is meant to replace traditional forms of exercise. It is just a fun ‘addition’ for those that would prefer to play ‘active’ games rather than sit in front of the computer on their behind. As with any form of exercise, what you get out of it, is directly correlated to the effort you put in. If you just stand there occasionally waving your controller in the air, chances are you’re not going to burn much fat or raise your heartbeat. On the other hand, set the difficulty level higher and throw yourself into it and you can raise the heartbeat enough to derive the benefits. I think it’s an incredibly valuable tool for certain kids in particular, in trying to get them more active – there are even studies showing how it can benefit the elderly in helping them to increase activity and mobility whilst in their own living room.

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