Using a Nintendo Wii is a legitimate form of exercise and could help you lose weight. Or so says the appropriately-named Dr. Alasdair Thin who has been researching the matter at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.

Apparently playing games with the motion sensitive Wiimote for half an hour can burn as many calories as taking a brisk 60-minute walk. And this applies not only to the Wii, but to the Sony PlayStation 2 and its EyeToy add-on and other wireless gaming devices as well.

Dr. Thin's research was conducted with 16 volunteers who played on the Nintendo Wii while having their heart rates, oxygen and calorie consumption rates monitored.

Don't be misled though - going for a brisk walk is not exactly ideal exercise. Playing on your Wii is still no substitute for jogging or playing sports outside.

Wii is healthier

It's just that staying inside and playing on your Wii is not as unhealthy as sitting and playing PC games for six hours straight, for instance.

Perhaps Dr. Thin should launch his own Wii exercise game - a muscle-teasing companion, if you will, for Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training .