Fighting diabetes with just a Wii bit of exercise

Max Mason
July 29, 2011

Computer games could be the answer to combatting diabetes according to Dr Hugh Senior, Associate Professor in the school of medicine at the University of Queensland.

New research to be undertaken at UQ’s Ipswich campus is set to examine how interactive gaming such as the Nintendo Wii can help improve diabetes sufferers’ health and quality of living.

“We’re looking at new technology as a form exercise, these new interactive games started out for children are now a new form of doing exercise,” said Senior.

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A government survey conducted in 2008 showed that 61.4 per cent of adult Australians are overweight or obese.
“People are ending up with diabetes unfortunately due to the environment they’re living in and as a result the prevalence of diabetes is increasing,” said Senior. “It’s very easy to access high energy density foods and as such people are putting on more weight and also not exercising.”

Dr Senior said the correlation between weight and diabetes put a huge amount of the population at risk.
“The prevalence of diabetes type 2 has doubled over the past 20 years, seven per cent of adults now have diabetes type 2 and an additional 16 per cent of adults have glucose intolerance, a precursor for developing diabetes.”

Previous research has shown that playing the Nintendo Wii’s tennis game for 30 minutes is equivalent to a half-hour brisk walk in terms of energy expended.

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