Some players already use the Nintendo Wii as a form of exercise, but the new Wii Fit brings the concept to a new level. The game includes a weight-sensing balance board on which players stand and move to participate in strength-training, yoga, and balancing via video game. Nintendo calls it “a combination of fitness and fun.” Buyers seem to agree.
This new release highlights some growing questions about exercise-focused video games. In particular, what effects do they have on children (especially those under 6) who use them? In a recent San Diego Union Tribune article, Dr. Don Shifrin explained that we don’t really know yet, and Dr. Daniel Anderson said that parents should limit children’s video game time and make sure that they don’t play even mildly violent games. There is plenty of research to support these recommendations, but when it comes to fitness by video game—at least for the moment—the jury is still out. For more information, see the following links
- Energy expenditure of sedentary screen time compared with active screen time for children
- Selecting appropriate toys for young children: The pediatrician’s role