While there is emerging research outlining the physiologic cost of the physically interactive Nintendo Wii, there are no evaluations of the relative reinforcing value (RRV) of the Wii versus a sedentary alternative.
The purpose of this study is to evaluate the physiologic cost, RRV, and liking of playing Wii Sports Boxing (Wii) versus a traditional sedentary video game (SVG) in 11 lean and 13 overweight/obese 8- to 12-year-old children.
Heart rate (HR) and VO2 were assessed during rest, treadmill walking, and playing an SVG and Wii using a counterbalance design. Liking was assessed during treadmill walking and video game play. RRV was assessed for Wii versus SVG.
Average HR, VO2, and liking were significantly greater for Nintendo Wii (p ≤ 0.001 for all) than all other conditions. Lean children displayed a greater (p < 0.001) peak responding for access to Wii relative to the SVG while overweight/obese children did not (p ≥ 0.16).
Wii was a well-liked activity of greater physiologic intensity than both the SVG and treadmill walking. Lean children were more motivated while overweight/obese children were equally as motivated to play Wii relative to the SVG.