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Face-Off Between Wii Sports and Real Sports: Which Burns More Calories?

May 11th, 2013 · No Comments ·


In my earlier article of Can Wii Sports Replace the Real Exercise, I mentioned that Wii should not be used as the replacement of the real exercise.  Some may doubt my claim as I did not provide any convincing scientific figures. Fortunately, American College of Sports Medicine has conducted a study to find out how much calories are burned with Wii Sports game as compared to the real activities.

In this study, participants were asked to play the Wii games as though they were playing the actually sport.  So, they did not just sit still at the couch and wave only their arms.  Though it is possible to control the onscreen players with minimal body movement, the researchers instructed the participants to stand up and move as much as needed to mimic the sport as closely as possible.  Each game lasted 10 minutes and researchers took down the heart rate every one-minute intervals.

Here are the results: (Source)

  • Golf
    • Wii: 0.8 calories per minute
    • Driving range golf: 3.9 calories per minute
  • Bowling
    • Wii: 3.9 calories/minute
    • Real bowling: 7.2 calories/minute
  • Baseball
    • Wii: 4.5 calories/minute
    • Real baseball (pitching): 7.3 calories/minute
  • Tennis
    • Wii: 5.3 calories/minute
    • Real tennis: 8.1 calories/minute
  • Boxing
    • Wii: 7.2 calories/minute
    • Real boxing (sparring): 10.2 calories/minute


The results show that Wii sports games are not as effective as real sports when comes to burning calories. On the positive side, Wii games are certainly better alternatives for people who do not want to exercise for whatever reason.  For those who really want to get the most from Wii games, Wii boxing is the best choice.  It burns 7.2 calories every minute and if you box for 30 minutes, you burn about 216 calories, which definitely more than outdoor brisk walking.

Wii games like tennis can get people up and moving because natural competitiveness that comes with playing Wii can be motivating.  Moreover, the convenience of exercising in own living room has got many lazy people get up off the couch and start to exercise.

Nintendo has launched Wii Fit in May 2008.  Wii Fit is a game that comes together with balance board and leads users to exercise, from aerobic workouts, push up to yoga.  I will be very interested to see a comparison Wii Fit with those workouts and see whether it is actually as good as it seems.

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Category: Fitness Gadget/Equipment

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