Working out with video games

Do you want Physical exercise while playing a video game? Isn’t that an oxymoron? Not anymore. Over the past couple of years, games which motivate exercise (also known as “exergames”) have become more and more popular among all ages. But are there any real health advantages from playing these games? The answer may shock you.

Can a video game really help you get fit?

Wii Fit functioning

One game in particular which has received a lot of attention is the Wii Fit. According to USA Today, the functioning of the game works thus: “In [the course of game play], customers are invited to try yoga, strength exercises, aerobic activities and balance games while stepping and gyrating on a movement-sensitive board and following an on-screen trainer.” It also benefits a body test which measures users’ weight and BMI. These games and tests not only keep you updated on your physical fitness goals, but they also help boost coordination and balance.

What the researchers say

Researchers at Southeastern Louisiana University decided to put the Wii Fit to the test. Their findings are as follows: “These games can be used as an effective mode of exercise to improve health in adult women . . . However, players should strive to participate at higher game levels to gain physical exercise benefits.” So yes, the Wii Fit can provide health advantages, but you still have to challenge yourself to reap the rewards. Fortunately, it’s fun.

The news gets better. Robert Kraemer, a professor of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Southeastern Louisiana, claims, “Using the Wii Fit puts the right type of stress on your body, helps burn calories, and puts stress on the muscles . . . And occasionally, when weather doesn’t permit you to go outside, this provides a nice mode of exercise.”


Southeastern Louisiana University
USA Today
Jul 2004
it seems like there's too much downtime inbetween exercises for there to be any large benefits. I've definatly incorporated it into my daily routine but the best gains i've found is in posture and balance.