fatkid -

Physically intensive games like Wii Fit and EA Sports Active are unlikely to have much bearing on your overall fitness, according to a new study.

As reported by Reuters, boffins at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, tested 78 overweight children between the ages of 9 and 12, over a period of 13 weeks.

All the kids were given a Wii – none of them previously owned the console – with half the group receiving games like Wii Fit Plus, Wii Sports and Dance Dance Revolution, and the other half taking titles like Mario Kart Wii, Super Mario Galaxy and Disney Sing-It Pop Hits. Halfway through the study, all the kids were switched over onto another game from the active selection.

The portly youngsters were monitored with accelerometers, the researchers hoping that active games might encourage them to move about a bit more and burn off a few calories. But in short, no dice.

"We expected that playing the video games would in fact lead to a substantial increase in physical activity in the children," lamented Dr Tom Baranowski.

"Frankly we were shocked by the complete lack of difference."

Baronowski and his colleagues couldn't state whether the games themselves weren't having much impact, or if it was simply the case that the kids slobbed-out extra hard after playing.

I'm betting the latter.

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User Comments

thedanyrand's Avatar


I think the big problem from the people I know who bought Wii fit is that the Wii Fit board is now a nice little shelf for the other games and its hard to stay in shape with a shelf lol. I just never saw it as something that I would even be interested in. My gaming and working out are 2 very different things and thats how they will stay.
Posted 17:44 on 28 February 2012
EverTheOptimist's Avatar


Also, those who just use the wrist action and nothing else aren't really trying to employ it as a method of getting fit or healthy, are they?
Posted 14:50 on 28 February 2012
munkee's Avatar

munkee@ Karlius

1st: Congratulations :) Thats a lot of weight.

2nd: Consumer evidence that it does in fact help.
Posted 14:44 on 28 February 2012
Karlius's Avatar


Used EA sports active 2 a lot last year and it improved my fitness as well as losing around 2 stone in weight. Granted you have to eat healthy with it else what's the purpose.
Posted 14:41 on 28 February 2012
Endless's Avatar

Endless@ munkee

I'm all about the gravy :)
Posted 12:54 on 28 February 2012
munkee's Avatar

munkee@ Endless

So is custard.
Posted 12:12 on 28 February 2012
Endless's Avatar


The Wii is the worst culprit for what I am now calling 'false-fitness-syndrome' or FFS :) The only game I played on the Wii that required some form of physical exertion was Raving Rabbids. Most of the others you could eventually just use your wrist and nothing else. Flaw with having a single point of movement detection.

I'm curious as to why they didn't use Kinect instead, you cant avoid moving around with that surely? Would have been a more consistent measure of physical activity at any rate. And studies and reports are all about consistency :)
Posted 11:58 on 28 February 2012
munkee's Avatar


Or if the wise children worked out a method to win at the game without having to get out of their seat :P
Posted 11:15 on 28 February 2012

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