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A Wii Bit o’ Exercise Remote Controller vs. The Tennis RacquetFrom Angry Birds to Super Mario Bros., kids today spend more time on their seats than on their feet! Kids, ages six to seventeen, should be exercising at an intensity high enough to raise their heart rate for at least sixty minutes a day, five days a week. Yet, enticing a sedentary child off the couch and away from his or her electronics is like trying to move a mule away from its feedbag.

This explains the ever increasing epidemic of childhood obesity; a serious medical condition that often leads to major health problems, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Overweight children are also targets for bullies at school, which can lead to poor self-esteem and depression.

As childhood obesity continued to rise, something had to be done, and Nintendo Wii did just that with the introduction of exergames. Brilliant! Not only will kids get the exercise they need, they can do it in front of the TV and not have to give up their hunger for electronics; or so we thought.

Scott Owens, an associate professor of exercise science at the University of Mississippi, offered Wii Fit games to eight thousand households and put exergames to the test.

Before the video games arrived, the researchers ran fitness tests and used accelerometers to set the baseline of the participants’ normal physical activity. At six and twelve weeks, after the games arrived, measurements were taken again. At the beginning, the Wii Fit was used an average of twenty-two minutes a day for the first six weeks. As the novelty of the new game wore off, however, the game was only utilized four minutes a day during the second six weeks. By the end of the study, health related fitness measures taken before the games arrived were essentially unchanged.

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4 Responses

  1. Jackie

    so true and love of activity starts when kids are very small and we model it to them.


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