Going beyond basic fitness

A UK-based pilot study has uncovered evidence that using Wii Fit could aid the development of children with movement difficulties.

The study is a collaboration between Sussex Community NHS Trust, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust and academics at Goldsmiths, University of London and Oxford Brookes University, Oxford.

The research involved taking two groups of children with movement difficulties or DCD (Developmental Coordination Disorder) over a one month period. One group would play Wii Fit three times a week for ten minutes during their lunch break, while the other took part in their regular fitness program.

To quote the press release:

The results found significant gains in motor proficiency, the child’s perception of their motor ability and reported emotional well-being for more of the children in the group using the Wii Fit three times a week than those in the group not doing so.

Project leader Professor Elisabeth Hill from the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths had this to say about the findings:

The results provide interesting points warranting further discussion, particularly in view of the fact that many children have access to the Nintendo Wii Fit and may be using this system at home with minimal supervision. This simple, popular intervention represents a plausible method to support children’s motor and psychosocial development.

It's really heart-warming to see that Wii Fit is able to help people in such a way - and good to see a bit of positive press for video games, especially during a period where many people are ranting about their perceived negative influence.