Small steps in faith

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Wii Fit...Does it work...Only if you use it :)

I saw this article and it honestly made me laugh because it's so true. People spend boatloads of money on exercise equipment,gym memberships, and now Wii Fit. It's a great concept for the video gamer who wants to get in shape but the truth is...they aren't putting in the effort. My coworker has a Wii Fit. She makes me laugh every time she talks about it. It groans when she gets on it and has gained weight. It asks where she's been when she hasn't used it for awhile. It even asks her husband how she is and how her posture is when she isn't using it and he is. Her demonstration of the hulu hoop made me cry I was laughing so hard. It made me want one but I know me. I would use it for a month and then it would collect dust. I have found that my free walking tape and my hand weights that I've had for years are just as good for me.
Exercise isn't fun. It takes dedication and work. It doesn't provide instant results.
Most of the time it takes weeks/months to see results.

The Truth About Wii Fit And Weight Loss
Fitness videogames might be able to keep players in shape--but not if they don't play them.

By Bonnie Ruberg, Forbes

BURLINGAME, CALIF.--Nintendo's exercise game Wii Fit is still flying off retail shelves eight months after its U.S. release last May. The all-in-one instructional tool, weight tracker and fitness coach advertises itself as a painless way for the whole family to get healthy thanks to the game's "balance board," which measures players' movement. Offering a selection of activities--from running to push-ups to yoga--Wii Fit is now in almost 1.5 million homes across the country. But is anyone actually using it?

Not really, says Brian Crecente, managing editor of the popular gaming blog Kotaku. Despite optimistic predictions that Nintendo had unleashed a new era of videogames, Crecente calls Wii Fit little more than an exercise fad that's bound to come and go like any other. "I don't know a single person who has bought the game who uses it routinely after a month," he claims, stressing that getting results from the game requires dedication and real physical exertion. "What Nintendo did is they tapped into that desire people have to be healthier... Everyone wants to work out, but nobody really wants to put the effort into it."

One of the things that's made Wii Fit so popular is the excitement Nintendo has stirred up with people who don't normally play. For Crecente, that excitement--and the let down that often comes with it--hit home. "My mom and step dad both tried Wii Fit before it came out," he says, "and like every other middle-aged American, they loved it." In fact, they loved it so much they went out and bought a Wii of their own. Months later, though, when Crecente stopped by for a visit, he didn't need to ask if they'd set foot on their balance board. Their Wii had never even been set up. So much for physical fitness.

Don't blame Nintendo for people's sloth, observers say. The company has marketed its new cash cow brilliantly, and it's not responsible for whether consumers play the game or not. Nintendo declined to comment for this article, but Wii Fit creator Shigeru Miyamoto has previously gone on record and said that the game is less about people losing weight and more about broadening the videogame market. Still, it seems a little disingenuous for Nintendo to heavily market a fitness tool that's sitting in more than a million American living rooms collecting dust.

That's not to say Wii Fit doesn't work--if you play it. Brian Ashcraft, another Kotaku editor, tried the game out faithfully for a month when it was first released in order to review it. The results: He enjoyed the yoga, and started to feel more in shape. But the novelty wore off, and Ashcraft admits he hasn't picked up the game in a long, long time.

Not everyone, however, is prepared to give up on Wii Fit. Instead of relying on anecdotal evidence, Scott Owens, a professor of exercise science at the University of Mississippi, has started a six-month study to uncover whether placing Wii Fit in a home will actually improve a family's physical fitness. By donating the game to local participants for three months at a time, then taking it away for another three months, Owens will be able to observe how the game impacts cardiovascular fitness, flexibility and balance. How often families use Wii Fit will be up to them.

Of course, the overall goal of Owens' study isn't to question Wii Fit's effectiveness--it's to provide more insight into the American obesity epidemic. Right now, Owens speculates that playing traditional videogames might be a contributing factor because it's a sedentary activity. Results of his study are expected to come out this June.

In the meantime, gamers like Crecente remain skeptical about the Wii Fit hype, predicting that this, too, will pass into fitness fad history. When a neighbor mentioned heading out to buy a Wii Fit recently, Crecente's advice was simple: Don't do it. "I have to keep reminding people," he sighs, "even though it's a videogame, it's still exercise. It might be fun a little bit, but it's work."


  • At 1:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I agree with you on that. We are going to be getting a Wii but I don't want the Wii Fit b/c I would do the same thing. Just walking for a mile or little more is the best exercise for me and it doesnt cost take care ro!


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