Sunday, 21 August 2011

Wii health: a preliminary study of the health and wellness benefits of Wii Fit on university students

The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, Volume 74, Number 6, June 2011 , pp. 262-268(7)

Authors: Jacobs, Karen; Zhu, Linda; Dawes, Monique; Franco, Jessie; Huggins, Alison; Igari, Cancha; Ranta, Becky; Umez-Eronini, Amarachi

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Objective: The aim of this preliminary study was to determine the effectiveness of the Nintendo Wii Fit as an occupation to promote weight loss in undergraduate students.

Participants: Five first-year female students living on campus at a northeastern university in the United States were recruited to participate in this study.

Method: An A-B single subject design was created where participants were separated into three groups: a typical activity group and two Wii conditions (Wii Fit individually and Wii Fit with another participant). In all conditions, participants recorded their daily food intake and daily number of steps using a pedometer. Body mass index (BMI) and weight were recorded at baseline, at 6 weeks and at 12 weeks (the conclusion of the intervention). At baseline and 12 weeks, motivation and activity level were measured.

Results: There was a significant change in BMI, weight and motivation for participants in the singles group.

Conclusion: Although the sample size was very small, the results of this preliminary study suggest that the Wii Fit should be considered by occupational therapists as a potential occupation of weight control in undergraduate students when performed individually.

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