Digital Fitness, Nintendo Wii, Wii Fit, Wii Sports

How Calories Do You Buring Playing Wii Sports?

Your children are nagging you to buy a Nintendo Wii. They claim it will be good for them. Unlike the X-Box 360 or Playstation 3, the Wii means exercise and movement and not sitting around pushing buttons. But how much exercise can you get from playing Wii Sports? Will it help burn those calories?

Fear not, your questions are now answered thanks to research published in the British Medical Journal this month. In a small study of just eleven children, researchers examined the calories burnt playing Wii Sports (Bowling, Tennis and Boxing) and Project Gotham Racing 3 on the X-Box 360. Unsurprisingly the children used more energy playing on the Wii.

Wii Sorts Bowling Wii Sorts Tennis Wii Sorts Boxing X-Box Project Gotham Racing 3
Energy Used
( KiloJoules per Kilogram per Minute)
22.2 31.5 33.9 13.7

As can be seen from the results, playing Wii Sports requires more energy than playing on a traditional games console. But, and its a big but, the intensity of the exercise when playing on the Wii is not high enough to contribute towards the recommended daily amount of exercise in children. The Wii is not a replacement for playing real sports.

Note: This was a small study on children around 14 years old and its results should be treated with caution. It also only looked at specific Wii Sport activities. Other Wii games may burn more or less energy and this study is no guide as to how many calories Wii Fit will burn.

Comparison of energy expenditure in adolescents when playing new generation and sedentary computer games: cross sectional study