The Wii Sports videogame comes as part of the standard bundle when purchasing the Nintendo Wii console and features five games: baseball, boxing, bowling, golf and tennis.
While Wii Sports is designed as a form of entertainment and family fun, the unique use of the Wii remote—your movements are transmitted to the console and the on-screen characters mimic your motions—means that you are actually getting a bit of a workout as you play. Certain games elevate the heart rate, burn calories and increase oxygen consumption more than others: According to the results of an ACE-commissioned study of Wii Sports, boxing burns 7.2 calories per minute, tennis burns 5.3 calories per minute, baseball burns 4.5 calories per minute, bowling burns 3.9 calories per minute and golf burns 3.1 calories per minute.
Of course, playing the actual sports will provide more cardiovascular and strength benefits because you are moving around and swinging things with more weight (an actual bat or racquet), but Wii Sports is certainly better for you than watching TV or playing most other videogames. The key to eliciting fitness benefits from the Wii is to simulate the movements of the actual sports as closely as possible. After burning 216 calories during 30 minutes of boxing—and tiring out the shoulders by keeping the hands up for defense and throwing actual punches—the loser might not be quite ready for an immediate rematch.
For our review, we really rated the game 5 stars, but the workout itself would be only 3 stars which is how we came to our overall 4-star rating for this product.
For additional information, see the ACE Research Study on Wii Sports.
What we liked:
- The games are so much fun that they will get you and your kids off the couch and moving without feeling like you’re doing exercise.
What we didn’t like:
- The on-screen characters can be manipulated using minimal body movement, so it’s up to the user to simulate the body movements used in each actual sport. For example, twisting your torso and swinging your arm to mimic a tennis backhand will increase your heart rate more than simply flicking your wrist.
October 9, 2009