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Wii for Family Fitness? Don’t count on it.

For months prior to Christmas there was a big push on for purchasing Nintendo Wii that was based on the notion of  ‘Wii for family fitness‘.  Even gyms and yoga studios began to offer ‘Wii Fit Plus‘ classes. In the first month of its release in October 2008 “Wii Fit Plus,” outsold its predecessor, and many people were stressed right out trying to acquire one to put under their tree.

If you bought  into the advertising hype like some people I know, who thought they were lucky to acquire Wii Fit Plus, as well as paying for Wii Fit Plus classes, you may be very disappointed to find that the hype amounts to a lot of hot air.

What is Wii Fit Plus?

Wii Fit Plus combines fun and fitness into one product. It can change how you exercise, how you balance, and even how you move. Expanding upon the original Wii Fit software, Wii Fit Plus is packed with every feature from Wii Fit—plus new exercises and tools to personalize your exercise routine. If you already have a profile on the original Wii Fit, you can easily transfer it over to Wii Fit Plus.  Source

On the morning of the big day for present opening when families I knew were tearing the wrappings off their new Wii’s in preparation for Wii Fit Plus classes this was published:

ScienceDaily (Dec. 25, 2009) — The Nintendo Wii Fit many people are considering as Christmas gifts may be great entertainment, but a University of Mississippi study indicates the console has little effect on family fitness. …

The study was conducted by Scott Owens, UM associate professor of health and exercise science. Owens  concluded that  Wii Fit had little impact on daily fitness and that that “modest amounts of daily Wii Fit use may have provided insufficient stimulus for fitness changes.”

Read  Wii Fit May Not Help Families Get Fit

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24 thoughts on “Wii for Family Fitness? Don’t count on it.

  1. I certainly agree with everything you said. Your explanation was by far the easiest to understand. Honestly I usually get so annoyed when people discuss issues that they obviously know nothing about. You managed to hit the nail right on the head and explained out everything without complication. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  2. All this fitness and health lark is fine and dandy, but as the great Bill Hicks once told non smokers who objected to him lighting up on stage, ‘Don’t look so smug. Non smokers die too you know!’

  3. We are getting a Wii this year. I can’t wait! Since my first video game system (an Atari) I always moved around a little too much while playing. I generally look odd playing video games because I react as if I’m the character. Finally, a game system for me. :) I can’t wait! Anyhow, have a happy new year and hope your holiday season was a blast.

    • @Shirley
      {{{cyber HUG}}} it’s so good to hear from you. My holiday season was mostly spent in retreat, and although here were good times none could be referred to as “a blast”.

      I took a sabbatical from social networking and everything else, while I finished a contract job, and I worked on this blog to get it into shape for getting the domain for it (please change your booksmarks to so I don’t lose the links) . :) I also worked on my new video and music meditation and relaxation blog.

      Thanks for commenting and best of luck with staying motivated to keep using the Wii. I’ll be visiting your blog soon. :)

  4. I got a Wii Fit for Christmas and though I felt a burn in the core muscles after the first few uses, I don’t think that the shiny new toy appeal will last long enough to see any health benefits. So instead, I signed up for trampoline class, I feel like that will be MUCH easier to stick to.

    Although, it is nice to learn some decent yoga form though, but I hope to try out some real people yoga classes soon, real life is always better than virtual when it comes to exercise!

  5. Hi TT, I promise my son to buy a Wii this christmas. Still, I havn’t(too busy) I hope January I will. Merry Christmas to you and may you have a happy and healthy new year =) -Bart

  6. The only time I got fit and stayed fit was when I did the sport I was interested in – then exercise didn’t feel like a grind.

    And when I did go to the gym, I had the sport in my mind, so the gym was just a stepping-stone rather than a stone wall.

    And, not on topic but just gotta say it: Your Festive header looks great. {!}

    • @David
      I think your comment contains some wisdom. If we don’t want exercise to be a grind, thenwe need to be selective and choose the kind we most enjoy.

      P.S. Thanks :)

  7. Well, my wife and I considered the Wii Fit at one point, but we chose a different fitness game for the Wii: EA Active. We’ve both been impressed with it. There’s a personal fitness trainer, goal setting, a resistance band for workouts, and a variety of “real” workouts that can be tailored to each users needs. It’s not the same as true fitness training, but comes pretty close. I wonder if they conducted a study on this game. Regardless, consistency is the key.

    • It sure sounds like you are all set to go. It also sounds like the program you have is top notch. I wonder if you will still be at it six months from now because like you say consistency is key. David (see below) also brings forward and important point. If you like the exercise/sport you do then it won’t feel like it’s a grind.

    • Yes, the commercial was seductive. Where I live we split wood for heat and kindling and we carry water when the power goes out. I love yoga and have been loving it for over 25 years now. :)

  8. Now that the Holidays are about over, perhaps we can settle down again. At least my wife and I can. I was sitting here and went to your blog and in contemplating my own aches and pains from arthritis, age, and back problems, I was wondering how you are recovering from your accident. I went back and read the blog for Aug. 23 and hoped that you are healing on schedule.It was a terrible accident and the leg damage must be bad. I have to use a cane and a wheeled walker for long hauls and it was hard to get used to both of them. I really haven’t had the energy to keep up with two blogs and will probably have to give up the Tumblr blog. Happy New Year. My best. Count Sneaky

    • It’s so good to see your comment. I can’t wait for the hype to blow over and away and be gone.

      It was a bad accident and I was very lucky that I suffered no brain damage, and healed as well as I did. Although the torn muscles in my legs were very painful, the migraines from the concussion, and pain from 3 cracked vertebrae in my neck were even more painful. Thankfully I have closed the cover on that chapter of my life.

      Please don’t give up on your tumblr blog so soon and delete it. Blogs can wait until we get to them and there may be a time when you will find yourself posting to it again. I’m determined to make the time to post to my personal blog more frequently in the new year, but if I can’t — oh well.

      I want to send you a big cyber hug for being such a dear friend to me throughout this past year. May your New Year be one that’s full of love and laughter.

      • Thank you, and may your New Year be glorious. I am reminded of this passage from the Dhammapada:
        For behold your body-
        A painted puppet, a toy,
        Jointed and sick and full of false
        A shadow that shifts and fades.

        I am going to try to keep up my Tumblr blog and continue to post as much as I can. Thanks
        for the encouragement.

        • It’s good to hear from you as always. I’m happy to hear you aren’t giving up on your tumblr blog. I know the passage and understand the sentiment conveyed. :)

  9. I think you’ve got it right, as far as the “average family” goes. But for someone like me, who’s picture belongs beside the definition for couch potato, it might just be a good thing. Assuming, of course, that I’d actually get off my butt to use it! :-)

    • Every year at this time people overeat and vow to exercise. Gym memberships sales soar and 3 months later the majority of “enthusiasts” have lost their motivation. Once the newness wears of the the Wii it will probably be consigned to the basement along with all the other gizmos we think we need. Truth be told, I don’t believe there is a gizmo that can substitute for cardio, pilates, yoga and the commitment to exercise daily.

      • I would have to agree. It’s like my mother (and other folks I know) wanting to get Lapband Surgery. That’s all fine and dandy and you may lose some weight but in the end, if you don’t change your mindset about food – really commit to making LIFESTYLE changes – then nothing you do, neither surgery nor buying the latest doohickie, is going provide lasting results.

        • That’s where I am coming from as well. IMHO if one wants to create family fitness then all family members must commit to taking part. Also the fitness programs ought to be tailored to the individual. I live in the country and we split wood and kindling, carry water when the power goes out, and have large properties to maintain, and livestock to care for. The bottom line is that we are not like urbanites we are exercising every day. :)

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