Can gaming make you fitter and slimmer?

Can games make you do this?

The Science Museum’s Dana Centre plans to run exclusive previews with Nintendo’s Wii Fit later this March to investigate whether or not video games could aid weight loss.

Play away the calories, takes place on Wednesday 26 March, allowing visitors a special preview of Wii Fit (launching on 25 April) “to ascertain if modern, interactive technology could really increase fitness levels”.

Human guinea pigs

The Science Museum informs us that: “Human guinea pigs will be put through their paces exercising on a treadmill, testing out Wii Fit and playing a more sedentary game, whilst measurements of their heart rate and oxygen consumption are taken to calculate how much energy is burnt.”

Sport scientists, physiologists and games experts will be at the event to ascertain whether gaming can promote a healthy lifestyle. Adult obesity has quadrupled in the last 25 years, with many scientists and lay-observers pinning the blame on ubiquitous technologies that encourage sedentary lifestyles.

Forget the gym

Epidemiologist Andy Jones notes that: “Today individuals lead much less active lives than we used to. Levels of employment in manual jobs are falling and we drive everywhere rather than walking or cycling.”

“We need to do lots of things to combat the problem but should try to incorporate activity into our everyday life rather than expecting everyone to go to the gym. We need people to exercise without seeing it as such! So making games more active is one way forward.”

TechRadar looks forward to the event at the Science Museum next Wednesday (26 March) and to finally getting hold of Wii Fit next month to discover whether or not it is a serious, life-enhancing keep-fit and yoga device, or simply a bit of a gimmick.

Adam Hartley