A Wii Bit of Weight Loss!


Virtual exercise with real weight loss? Sounds like a couch potato’s wet dream.

Perhaps the latest in game console technology, the new Wii Nentendo, could make this dream come true. One intrepid gamer decided to take one small step off the couch to test this possibility.

Was it one giant step for couch potato-kind?

The Wii game console uses a pair of motion tracking devices as controls. So if you want to play Wii tennis you’ve got to get off the couch and make like you’re playing tennis. Almost like walking out onto centre court at Melbourne Park. Well maybe not quite.

[gv data=”http://www.youtube.com/v/fO7kcEtTCFY”][/gv]

As you can see from this video the couch is at least a meter or two away and the gamers are actually moving around.

Our intrepid experimenter, let’s call him Wii Boy, decided to find out if playing with his Wii could improve his body composition.

Wii Boy had been a stable 82kg for the last 2 years and maintained his normal eating and excercise habits during the test. The only major change to his daily routine was 30 minitues of Wii sport evey day.

Before and After

At first look the results are impressive for someone who stayed within a hamburger’s throw of his couch. His weight dropped from 82kg to 78kg, 3 and a half inches came off his 34 and a half inch waist, BMI went from 25.2 to 24, resting heart rate from 82 to 68.

Wii Boy also tried to gauge the number of calories burned by various Wii sports and boxing came out on top at 500 cals per hour. If that’s accurate it comes pretty close to sparring in the real world.

Kid Brother

And it’s not without real world pain either! Keep some ice on hand, if not for your kid brother’s nose, for your elbows and wrists which are bound to suffer some grief.

Now before you rush out and cancel your gym membership or trade in your bowflex for a Wii, let’s look a little more closely at some of Wii Boys other numbers.

Body fat dropped by a measily 2.8% which meant our virtual sportsman lost nearly as much muscle as he did fat. Ouch, not what we want at all.

Still Wii Boy is probably in better shape now than when he started.

However, it would be really interesting to compare the Wii Weight Loss program with a real world program using weight training and cardio under similar conditions.

Any volunteers?

Full details can be found at the Wii Sports Experiment

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