Background: The Wii Fit series (Nintendo Inc., Japan) provides active video games (AVGs) to help adults to maintain a sufficient level of daily physical activity (PA). The second generation of home AVG consoles is now emerging with new game modalities (including a portable mini screen in the case of the new Wii U). The present study was performed to investigate the intensity and enjoyment of Wii Fit U games among adults.
Findings. Metabolic equivalent (METs, i.e., intensity) of the Wii Fit U activities were evaluated using metabolic chambers in 16 sedentary adults (8 women and 8 men). A short version of the physical activity enjoyment scale was completed for each activity. Wii Fit U activities were distributed over a range from 2.2 ± 0.4 METs (Hula dance) to 4.7 ± 1.2 (Hip-hop dance). Seven activities were classified as light-intensity PA (<3 METs) and 11 activities as moderate-intensity PA (3-6 METs). The new portable mini screen game modality does not induce higher METs. Men exercised at higher intensities than women. There was no correlation between enjoyment and MET values in women or men.
Conclusions: More and more moderate-intensity activities are available through video gaming, but the average intensity (3.2 ± 0.6) is still low. Users should be aware that AVGs alone cannot fulfill the recommendations for PA, and the video games industry still must innovate further to enhance gaming intensity and make the tool more attractive to health and fitness professionals.
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