There continues to be a trend towards the convergence of 2 activities once considered diametrically opposed to one another: Playing video games and playing sports. Since the inception of the Nintendo Wii and more recently Wii Fit, much has been speculated as to how effective it is and more specifically how well it translates to the actual sport in which it simulates.
The guesswork is officially over, with The American Council on Exercise releasing a study that compared the two. Here are the results…Wii Golf: .8 calories per minute
Driving range golf: 3.9 calories per minute
Wii bowling: 3.9 calories/minute
Real bowling: 7.2 calories/minute
Wii baseball: 4.5 calories/minute
Real baseball (pitching): 7.3 calories/minute
Wii tennis: 5.3 calories/minute
Real tennis: 8.1 calories/minute
Wii boxing: 7.2 calories/minute
Real boxing (sparring): 10.2 calories/minute
Notes on the Study
- Participants were asked to play the Wii games as though they were playing the actual sport.
- Each game lasted 10 minutes and researchers recorded heart rate and V•O2 at one-minute intervals. Researchers also interviewed the subjects during the final minute of each sport to determine their perceived exertion levels using the Borg rating of perceived exertion (RPE).
- In addition to burning the most calories, boxing was the only Wii game tested that would be considered intense enough to maintain or improve cardiorespiratory endurance as defined by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
- 30 minutes of Wii boxing burns about 216 calories
- The Wii sports games are not as effective as real sports but certainly better than sitting on the couch.
- Wii games are a good alternative for those who don’t want to go outside for whatever reason.
- The key to getting a decent workout with Wii is to try and mimic the sport as closely as possible.
- Bowling is not a sufficient workout whether you are playing a video game or actually bowling (hopefully you don’t find bowling very strenuous).