Wii Fit No Substitute For Real Exercise According To Academic Research

Includes all other forms of active gaming

Australians love being recognised globally for their sporting achievements. Be it their recent win over England in the Ashes, or Aussie golfer Adam Scott and his rise to number 2 in the world. It’s always a thrill to see a country of such a small population competing both fiercely and passionately on the world stage.

Australian’s love of sport doesn’t end there, either. It expands right through to sport research and science. The most recent being a research project from the Health Promotion Evaluation Unit at the University of Western Australia. Associate Professor Michael Rosenberg and his colleagues received a research grant from The Western Australian Health Promotion Foundation to develop a health rating scale for active video games.

Based on the research, Rosenberg found there was still little evidence to support the long-term benefits of relying on “exergaming” - a term popularised by Nintendo with the release of Wii Fit in 2006 - to improve health.

Early research conducted showed health benefits were present in the lab, but when placed in people’s homes, the novelty of it all quickly wore off. The research also found the creation and evolution of motion technology over time - including full movement devices such as Wii Fit and Microsoft’s Kinect - were improvements over previous exergaming devices which only utilised upper body movement.

The upside of all of this is that doing something is still better than doing nothing at all.

“At the very least [exergaming] will reduce the time you spend sitting,” according to Michael Rosenberg.

As further explained by Rosenberg, the main problem is people’s lack of motivation when it comes to active gaming. Based on research, these games are far less popular in homes when compared to the latest and more traditional gaming experiences.

So, what do you think about all of this? Are the findings stating the obvious, or is there some added truth in the matter? Has it otherwise enlightened you to the fact that your once-a-month Wii Fit U session is as good as useless?

With the above findings and research in consideration, do you think active gaming, particularly Nintendo’s recent announcement that it will soon be focusing on Quality of Life -including health and education – have a future?

[via theconversation.com, nzherald.co.nz]

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