Mayo Clinic Likes the Idea Behind the Wii

A new Mayo Clinic study shows that adding activity to video games helps fight obesity.

“We know if kids play video games that require movement, they burn more energy than they would while sitting and playing traditional screen games. That’s pretty obvious even without our data,” says Lorraine Lanningham-Foster, Ph.D., Mayo obesity researcher and study leader.

“The point is that children — very focused on screen games — can be made healthier if activity is a required part of the game.”

The study does not mention the Wii by name, but let’s face it. The Wii is all about activity. —MEGHANN MARCO

Mayo Clinic Study Endorses Concept Behind Nintendo’s Wii [Consumer Affairs]

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  1. The odd thing is that requiring physical motion for video games is not an entirely new concept. Maybe I’m old, but I remember stamping my feet furiously on the Nintendo Power Pad and punching the air with my Power Glove. Nintendo has had a history of innovative design involving physical activity interface.

    I’ve always been too shy to use those DDR dancing machines though.

  2. viriiman says:

    crayonshinobi: Don’t forget about “Dance Aerobics” for the powerpad (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dance_Aerobics) and the ever popular “World Class Track Meet” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Class_Track_Meet)

  3. ckilgore says:

    Keep it up – the more articles I see like this the better I get at rationalizing getting one.

  4. Karl says:

    As it turns out, if you read the study, it says that they used the PS2 EyeToy Nicktoons Movin’ by THQ, and the Xbox version of Dance Dance Revolution
    Ultramix 2 by Konami. Having played Wii Sports, DDR, and vision-based games, I suspect that the Wii consumes less calories. It certainly didn’t wear me out like DDR does. On the other hand, I usually play Wii Sports for a longer amount of time than DDR, so it might be a wash.

    At any rate, I do highly recommend picking up a Wii. I brought mine home for Christmas, I managed to “sell” at least three to family members.

  5. SexCpotatoes says:

    mmm, Mayo, yum yum.

  6. Citron says:

    DDR is great, and so is the Wii. I love them both. DDR, however, is a legitimate (albeit silly) aerobic workout. Playing on a Wii, not so much so unless you’re going absolutely insane. Still — at least you’re moving around!

    And I remember the power pad with the olympics game! We’d always cheat on the 100 Yard Dash by pounding it with our fists, or on the long jump we’d just step off the pad so the jumper would go crazy far. Then we’d play Rampart. Good times.

  7. raindog says:

    According to the study, the kids burned three times as many calories playing the Eyetoy game than they did using a regular controller (or just watching TV), and six times as many playing DDR. So DDR would be twice as good as Eyetoy, exercise-wise, and I’m guessing Eyetoy will be comparable to the Wii in that regard.

    None of which changes the fact that the kind of Wii games I sit and play when I have a 4-hour stretch all to myself are things like Zelda, where the motion sensitivity is limited to a swing here and a shake there. Wii Sports and Rayman are pretty much party games, for when people are over…. but I guess you could make a daily regimen out of them.