Changes in physical activity and fitness after 3 months of home Wii Fit(TM) use

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:

25(11): 3191-3197, 

11 October 2011

Owens, SG, Garner III, JC, Loftin, JM, van Blerk, N, and Ermin, K.
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The purpose of this study was to examine changes in physical activity and fitness variables in members of 8 volunteer families after 3 months of home use of the Wii Fit(TM) interactive video game. Pre and postintervention measurements were obtained from 21 subjects relative to physical activity (5 days of accelerometry), aerobic fitness (graded treadmill test), muscular fitness (push-ups), flexibility (sit-and-reach test), balance (composite equilibrium score), and body composition (body mass index and % body fat). Use characteristics of the Wii Fit(TM) device were also determined. A series of 2 (age group) x 2 (time) repeated measures analyses of variance were conducted to assess changes over time and between adults and children. Three months of home Wii Fit(TM) use revealed no significant age group x time interactions or main effects of group or time for daily physical activity, muscular fitness, flexibility, balance, or body composition. An age group x time interaction (p = 0.04) was observed in peak [latin capital V with dot above]O2 (ml[middle dot]kg-1[middle dot]min-1) with children displaying a significant (p = 0.03) increase after 3 months of Wii Fit(TM) use, whereas adults showed no significant (p = 0.50) change. Daily Wii Fit(TM) use per household declined by 82% (p < 0.01) from 21.5 +/- 9.0 min[middle dot]d-1 during the first 6 weeks to 3.9 +/- 4.0 min[middle dot]d-1 during the second 6 weeks. Most measures of health-related fitness in this exploratory study remained unchanged after 3 months of home use of the popular Wii Fit(TM) whole-body movement interactive video game. Modest daily Wii Fit(TM) use may have provided insufficient stimulus for fitness changes. 

 (C) 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association 

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