Navigation Links
Wii Fit a promising tool for all ages

MANHATTAN, KAN. -- While some emerging technologies can create environments that require very little physical effort, one Kansas State University researcher thinks games like Nintendo's Wii Fit can help promote physical rather than sedentary activities for people of all ages.

"I think there is a great potential to develop ways to promote physical activity through technology," said David Dzewaltowski, professor and head of the department of kinesiology at K-State and director of the university's Community Health Institute. "Kids innately like to move, so I believe that there is a big future in games that use emerging technologies and require movement because the games will be enjoyed by children and also be more healthy than existing games."

In a commentary published in the October 2008 Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, Dzewaltowski discussed how technology is changing our everyday life and affecting our health.

Wii Fit has games that incorporate yoga, strength training, balance and aerobics. The games are interactive and require the player to physically move, which is better than nothing, Dzewaltowski said. It uses a balance board and allows gamers to simulate challenges like snowboarding down a mountain.

"Anything that gets people to move more than they have in the past is positive, but if people are trying to replace physical activity that demands more movement with the Wii, then that will be negative," Dzewaltowski said.

He said it is difficult in a small indoor space to replicate the intensity of some real-life physical activities, though dance video games are effective at demanding physical movements that require caloric expenditure.

"The caloric expenditure demanded by an activity depends on the energy necessary to move the body's weight to complete the task and how long you perform the task," Dzewaltowski said.

He added that different activities demand different amounts of caloric expenditure, like playing a game of soccer, which demands much more energy expenditure than bowling or playing the outfield in baseball.

Dzewaltowski said Wii Fit can be an effective tool to create or maintain a healthy lifestyle for some people because it follows the basic principles for adhering to an exercise program, like having physical activity goals, tracking those goals and evaluating the progress.

Wii Fit measures players' body mass index, or BMI, which is a weight evaluation based on height and weight. Dzewaltowski said this a good screening tool for adults, meaning if the game categorizes them as being overweight or obese, they should seek more information from a health professional who can better evaluate the level of body fat. However, he said the calculation is unsuitable for children.

"For children, the BMI calculation has to be expressed based on age and gender growth charts, and it doesn't do that," Dzewaltowski said. "Due to children's age and gender differences in growth, the adult BMI calculators don't work. My use of the Wii BMI calculator showed that it was inappropriate for children and would categorize children incorrectly."

The game also gives players a Wii Fit Age, which is measured by the player's BMI and their center of gravity and balance testing. However, Dzewaltowski doesn't think the measurement is credible.

For personal goals, he said it is more important to focus on behaviors such as physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption rather than the game's BMI and fitness age measurements.

Dzewaltowski said it could be healthy for gamers to solely rely on Wii Fit for exercise if they are meeting the guidelines for physical activity set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

He said future technologies should continue to promote physical activity if they make exercise enjoyable, especially for adults.

"I also believe that adults enjoy movement if they are at a fitness level where they can perform the activity comfortably," Dzewaltowski said. "The problem is most adults have very poor fitness levels. So, I believe there is a future in developing games that include movement and demand caloric expenditure at the level of the participant."


Contact: David Dzewaltowski
Kansas State University

Related medicine news :

1. Promising trials of malaria vaccine lead to calls for Phase 3 development
2. Bone cancer treatment ineffective, despite promising laboratory data
3. AMA Foundation Presents the Arthur N. Wilson, MD Scholarship to Promising Medical Student From Southeast Alaska
4. AMA Foundation Presents $10,000 Scholarships to Promising Medical Students
5. Endoscopic circumferential ablation promising for Barretts esophagus with high-grade dysplasia
6. Promising results in deep brain stimulation for patients with treatment-resistant depression
7. Researchers identify promising cancer drug target in prostate tumors
8. Breast Cancer Vaccines Look Promising
9. Twenty of Americas Most Promising Scientists Selected as 2008 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences
10. Promising advances in islet cell transplants for diabetes
11. New combination therapy safe, promising for melanoma patients
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library ... City Observer , brings up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ... for fumigation is not a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health ... of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards ... at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her ... would lash out at his family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he ... he would use it. He would throw rocks at my other children and say he ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and ... that call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then ... will restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, LLC (SCP) in concert ... capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered investment events and professional ... than a million dollars of capital investment for five companies. The ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... Mass. , June 24, 2016   Pulmatrix, ... pharmaceutical company developing innovative inhaled drugs, announced today that ... Russell Investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of ... "This is an important milestone for Pulmatrix," ... will increase shareholder awareness of our progress in developing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... "Dialysis Devices Global Market - Forecast to 2022" report ... is the treatment method for the patients with kidney failure, ... and excess fluid from the patient,s blood and thus the ... sodium, potassium and chloride in balance. Increasing ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: ... its Elecsys BRAHMS PCT (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated ... shock. With this clearance, Roche is the first IVD ... solution for sepsis risk assessment and management. ... and PCT levels in blood can aid clinicians in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: