Ole Miss professor gauges Wii Fit's effectiveness in study - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ole Miss professor gauges Wii Fit's effectiveness in study

By Chip Washington - bio | email

OXFORD, MS (WMC-TV) - Nintendo's Wii Fit is on many people's gift list this holiday season, but an Ole Miss professor says if you want to use the game to get in shape, you have to be dedicated.

Dr. Scott Owens, an associate professor of health and exercise science at the University of  Mississippi, is focusing on the state's obesity problem. Recently, Owens conducted a study using the Nintendo's Wii Fit video game to see if it could help families improve their fitness.

"We loaned the Wii Fit to the eight families for three months, and they were free to use it as much or as little as they liked," he said.

Before that, each family was brought into an exercise lab in order to gage their fitness level. Various tests were conducted in areas like muscle fitness, stress and balance and were recorded prior to using the Wii Fit.

Owens found the results to be interesting.

"The first six weeks they had the Fit in the home they used them an average of 22 minutes per day," he said. "By the end of the study it was down to four minutes a day on average."

This averaged out to about an 80 percent decline in the usage. Owens says the Wii could be very effective based on what it has to offer, but like anything else, it all depends on how dedicated the user is are.

"It's like any exercise piece of equipment," he said. "You need to use it if you want to get the benefits, and it appears that the usage dropped off quite a bit."

Owens believes the Wii could be effective in terms of the obesity problem statewide when used regularly, but ultimately weight management is about changing habits, he said.

Copyright 2009 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly