Nintendo Wii keeps idle people fit

May 5th, 2011 - 2:41 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, May 5 (IANS) Nintendo Wii, a popular fitness game console, could get inactive or overweight people back into the exercise regime.

A study on Nintendo Wii Fit found that participants, the majority being women, showed significant reduction in body mass and fat deposition around the abdominal area and improved strength, balance and walking fitness.

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) research associate Harvey May said the group of women felt more motivated to exercise after the two-week fitness regime. They reported feeling better about their body image, despite previously being sedentary for long periods.

“All of the women participants had various improvements in their markers of fitness and their measurements, losing 2-3 cm from their waist and abdominal circumferences,” he said, according to a QUT statement.

“The fact that nearly all participants improved balance, strength and lowered fat mass is significant.

“Wii Fit is not better than other exercise, but it could well be used as part of a weight loss programme as an additional or complementary tool.

“It is particularly effective for sedentary people who would like to start exercising again in the comfort of their own home,” May said.

May, who conducted the independent study with QUT alumnus Masa Kagawa from Kagawa Nutrition University in Japan, said the supervised, one-hour training sessions included yoga, strength exercise, aerobic activities and balance games.

However, May warned Wii Fit had its downsides, including repetitive exercises that could cause injury and poor direction for some activities.

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