Were you one of the lucky ones to get a new Nintendo Wii? Well, don’t be lured into thinking all those interactive video games will make you less of a couch potato. The fact is, you’ll still need to get regular exercise outdoors.
That’s the finding of a brand new study in the British Medical Journal. They compared teens playing active games on a Wii, with teens who just sit and push buttons on a more traditional video game system. It turns out our Wii warriors only use 2% more energy than the old school joystick jockeys! Unfortunately, that 2% isn’t enough to reverse our national obesity epidemic.
The fact is, most people need to get at least half an hour of moderate to vigorous exercise per day, and waving your arm in a game of simulated tennis is simply no match for volleying a real tennis ball at the local rec center! Consider these numbers. For an average person, one hour of moderate walking burns nearly 300 calories. By comparison, one hour of Wii baseball burns only 60 calories! That’s not to say your new Wii addiction is a big waste of time. Researchers tell us that even a little exercise is better than nothing.
That’s good news for both your growing teen, and for aging seniors. One retirement home chain has installed a Wii in all of their senior centers across North America. So now, instead of sitting around playing Bingo, the over-60 crowd is getting hooked on Wii golf. and Wii bowling! In fact, video bowling is such a big hit right now, some retirement homes have organized tournaments – with real cash prizes – for the granny who can throw the fewest virtual gutter balls! Fans of these tournaments say the exercise boosts hand-eye coordination for seniors, and keeps them active in their declining years. So feel free to play that new Wii this winter. Just get outside for an hour of real exercise too!