Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Wii Fit Safer, Yet Not as Effective as Regular Gyms

Video game-based exercising at home is becoming more and more popular due to its cost and accessibility, but is it better than actually going to a gym? Well, yes and no, according to an article entitled, "Wii Exercise Doesn't Beat the Gym" from The New York Times. According to new research studying people who using the Wii Fit found that, while their chance of injury is much less, they also don't get anywhere near as good a workout as they would in an actual gym.

In a study conducted in 2008 which lasted nine months, there were over three hundred injuries that led to an emergency room visit, according to researchers at Ohio State University who drew data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System. The injured included an eight-year old who hit her face with a table, and a twenty-five year old who sprained his back, among others. However, lifting weights or using a treadmill in an actual gym is riskier, as weightlifting is four times as likely to cause an injury, and the treadmill one and a half times more likely to cause an injury than when using the Wii Fit.

However, there is a downside. While the Wii Fit offers a safer exercise than going to the gym, it doesn't seem to offer a better one. According to the article, people burn twice as many calories per minute in a real gym as opposed to using Wii Fit. "You're better off doing the real thing," said Jack L. Nasar, professor of city and regional planning at Ohio State who undertook the research.