Friday, June 4, 2010

Metabolic Responses to Wii Fit (Exergame) Activity

Jennifer R. Worley, Sharon N. Rogers, Robert R. Kraemer, FACSM. Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA. Email: 

 Abstract: The Wii Fit™ is a form of interactive gaming that is designed to elicit health and fitness benefits to replace sedentary gaming. 

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the VO2 and energy expenditure from different Wii Fit™ games at different levels including the step game and hula game. 

Methods: Eight females [mean age, ht., wt.,& VO2max = 21.9y, 170.3cm, 71.6kg, 33.1 mL/kg/min] completed a preliminary trial to determine VO2max and later played the Wii Fit™ on two separate occasions while VO2 was measured using a metabolic cart (ParvoMedics, TrueOne 2400). During each session, the subjects played beginning, intermediate and “other” levels of Wii Fit™ games for 10 minutes at each level. One session involved beginning hula and intermediate hula and the other session involved beginning step and intermediate step; sessions were counter balanced. VO2 was collected continuously whereas rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was determined pre-exercise and at the end of each game level. 

Results: The lowest %VO2max, RER, kcal/min, & RPE occurred during the respective games: beginning step, beginning hula, beginning step, beginning step and hula. The highest %VO2max, RER, kcal/min, and RPE occurred during intermediate hula (Table 1). 

Discussion: This is the first study to use open circuit spirometry to determine metabolic effects of the Wii Fit™. The intermediate hula and step games produced the greatest metabolic stress and energy expenditure with an equivalent effect of a walking speed >3.5mph (ACSM Metabolic Equations). Findings suggest that the Wii Fit™ can be used as an effective activity for promoting physical health.

Table I
Mean % VO2 ± SE (7-10min)Mean RER ± SE (7-10min)Mean Kcal/min ± SE (7-10min)Mean RPE ± SE (End of Level)
Beginning Hula29.89 ± 0.670.86 ± 0.0094.47 ± 0.159 ± 0.31
Intermediate Hula36.76 ± 1.260.94 ± 0.0084.70 ± 0.1712 ± 0.47
Beginning Step27.6 ± 0.890.87 ± 0.0093.57 ± 0.129 ± 0.31
Intermediate Step30.55 ± 1.140.92 ± 0.0103.99 ± 0.1310 ± 0.38

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