Will Nintendo "wii Fit" Get You Fit? An Evaluation of the Energy Expenditure from Active-Play Videogames

Ying Xian, Lisa Kakinami, Eric D. Peterson, Karen M. Mustian, I. Diana Fernandez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: This study aimed to determine whether Nintendo® (Redmond, WA) "Wii Fit™" games can help individuals meet physical activity recommendations. Subjects and Methods: Thirty young healthy volunteers were recruited for this randomized crossover study to evaluate the energy expenditure associated with (1) a 30-minute "Wii Fit Free Run," (2) three 10-minute bouts of "Wii Fit" aerobic games ("Rhythm Boxing," "Super Hula Hoop," and "Advanced Steps"), and (3) 30-minute treadmill running/walking. Energy expenditure was measured by indirect calorimetry using breath-by-breath analyses of O2 consumption and CO2 production. Results: The "Wii Fit" conditions produced a moderate exercise intensity (5.0, 4.1, 3.9, and 3.8 metabolic equivalents [METs] in "Free Run," "Rhythm Boxing," "Super Hula Hoop," and "Advanced Steps"), whereas the treadmill running/walking produced a vigorous exercise intensity (METs=8.0). Based on federal guidelines, an individual could achieve the minimum weekly goal of 500 MET-minutes by playing selected "Wii Fit" aerobics games for 20-26 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Conclusions: Although not as vigorous as the treadmill, active-play videogames such as "Wii Fit" may provide an alternative way to encourage exercise and increase adoption and adherence to the physical activity guidelines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-91
Number of pages6
JournalGames for health journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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