Metabolic responses to Wii Fit™ video games at different game levels

Jennifer R Worley, Sharon N Rogers, Robert R Kraemer
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 2011, 25 (3): 689-93
The Wii Fit™ is a form of interactive gaming designed to elicit health and fitness benefits to replace sedentary gaming. This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of Wii Fit™ fitness games. The purpose of the study was to determine the %VO2max and energy expenditure from different Wii Fit™ games at different levels including the step and hula games. Eight healthy young women completed a preliminary trial to determine VO2max and later played the Wii Fit™ during 2 separate counterbalanced trials. During each session, subjects played levels of Wii Fit™ games for 10 minutes each level. One session involved beginning and intermediate hula, and the other session involved beginning and intermediate steps. The VO2 was measured continuously via metabolic cart, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was assessed at the end of each game level. The lowest %VO2max, kcal·min, and RPE occurred during the beginning step game and the highest values occurred during the intermediate hula game. Respiratory exchange ratio was significantly higher in the intermediate hula than beginning hula game but was not significantly different between step game levels. The intermediate hula and step games produced the greatest energy expenditure with an equivalent effect of a walking speed of >5.63 km·h (>3.5 miles·h). This is the first study to determine the percentage of VO2max and caloric expenditure elicited by different Wii Fit™ video games at different game levels in adults. Findings suggest that the Wii Fit™ can be used as an effective activity for promoting physical health in this population.

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