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Working out with Wii

Do those video games that claim to help you get fit deliver on their promise? It depends on which game you’re playing. In a small study presented at the American Heart Association’s (AHA’s) Scientific Sessions 2009, researchers measured the energy expenditure of 12 men and women as they played Nintendo® Wii™ Sports games. Energy expenditure was measured in metabolic equivalent values (METs). According to the AHA’s exercise guidelines, moderate intensity is 3.0 to 6.0 METs. (An adult walking at 3 miles an hour on a flat surface expends about 3.3 METs.) Results showed that one-third of the video games required 3.0 METs or more. The best games for your body? Wii Sports Boxing (about 4.5 METs) and the single-arm stand of Wii Fit (about 5.6 METs). While video games can get you moving, keep in mind that, according to this research, two-thirds of these games weren’t as effective as good old-fashioned exercise.