Straight to the Bar

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Technology and Fitness – the Nintendo Wii
Written By : Scott Bird
Filed In : Articles

This is the third article (1, 2) in this month’s series on Technology and Fitness (a collaboration with Run to Win‘s Blaine Moore) – the Nintendo Wii.

The approaches to children’s fitness fall under two broad headings :

  1. those that encourage children to perform existing activities which are known to produce good results (such as sports in schools, or bodyweight conditioning exercises)
  2. those that attempt to add a fitness element to activities which are currently enjoyed by children

The Nintendo Wii falls strongly in the latter group. This article looks at the many ways this games console can be – and is being – used which result in increased fitness.


Golf - just one of the 5 sports in the Wii Sports packWii Sports [E3 demo – streaming, 9.4mb .flv download] captured the public’s imagination, surprising many including Nintendo staff. Now it seems as though that was only the beginning.
At last week’s E3 in Santa Monica, Nintendo announced the ‘Wii Fit’ game; a collection of more than 40 activities which are designed to both get you moving and have a good time. Looks great (take a look at the video below for more of an idea of this great game).


Wii Fit balance boardThe ‘Wii Fit‘ game includes a very interesting controller. This controller – a small balance board – is definitely a sign of things to come (scroll down for a full review). Suddenly the distinction between a gym session and play time becomes extremely blurry.
I don’t know about you, but I instantly conjured up many game ideas using a device like this. Surfing, a flying carpet ride, luge runs and on and on. Beautiful.
This is the brief video for Wii Fit that was shown at E3. Although the activities themselves may not be quite your thing, the possibilities are incredible.

WiimoteOf course, the standard Wii controller (the Wii Remote) also provides a great array of possibilities. Together with existing games it can act as anything from a racquet handle to a fishing rod.


Via BBC News : a recent study by Dr. Tim Cable at Liverpool John Moores University looked at the energy-burning potential of several video game systems; including the Nintendo Wii. His findings? A definite thumbs up for the Wii; although a healthy dose of more traditional fitness-related activities was also recommended.

Further reading

Review of the Wii Fit balance board
Via Engadget : Joystiq kicks off the shoes takes a look at Nintendo’s latest offering.
The Wii Sports Experiment
This is the original Wii Sports experiment, wherein a reasonably fit guy simply adds 30 minutes of Wii Sports to his usual regime. The results are very good indeed.

Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter ( @scottbird ), or add a comment below.



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Written By Scott Bird
Scott is a long-time fitness enthusiast (Jan 2004!), writer and photographer living in Sydney, Australia. If you share the passion for spending a bit of time under a bar, welcome. Love hearing how everyone else trains. You can connect via Twitter, Facebook and the various networks listed in the sidebar.
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