Nintendo – a healthy option?
Having just got back from the American Heart Association (AHA) congress in Orlando, Florida I’ve been reflecting on what were the hot topics. One that particularly stuck in my mind was an abstract presentation of a study funded by Nintendo, which assessed the health benefits of playing Nintendo’s Wii active games – Wii Sports and Wii Fit Plus.
12 healthy, normal weight men and women ages 25 to 44 were engaged in all the activities available in the game packages. They played the games inside an airtight room equipped with sensors that recorded the level of carbon dioxide in the air. The researchers estimated the participants energy expenditure as measured by MET (a unit that measures the energy cost of an activity).
Most of the activities (67%) were classified as strictly light intensity (less than 3 METs), but the activities with the highest energy expenditure included the single-arm stand resistance (5.6 METs), the basic running (5 METs) and the hula-hoop (4.0 METs). The researchers noted that 30 minutes of these activities per day would meet the AHA’s recommended guidelines on moderate intensity physical activity.
What I’m most interested to see is how Nintendo will utilise these results once the study is fully published. It certainly provides them with an excellent PR opportunity.