U.K. Government Endorses Wii For Physical Education Programs

U.K. Government Endorses Wii For Physical Education Programs

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With childhood obesity rates in the U.K. continuing to rise, the government recently endorsed a program that would see the Nintendo Wii employed in physical education programs across the country.

The move follows a pilot project at five Worcestershire schools that used Wii consoles to bring inactive students into "virtual PE." The project found that students would line up over their lunch hour for a chance to play games on the Wii that included tennis, baseball, bowling and golf, all of which required physical effort in order to play. Heart monitoring conducted as part of the project determined that regular use of the consoles led to a greater level of fitness among the students.

As part of its most recent strategy for tackling childhood obesity, the U.K. government has said that "active computer games" can play a role in getting kids to exercise, and the ministry responsible for the nation's fitness has now officially endorsed the project. A wider-ranging project is currently in development, and a spokesman for the Department of Health said, "We welcome the positive impact that innovations like these can have as a first step towards getting people to participate in a range of physical activities and to enjoy the many benefits of an active lifestyle."

A report by the Independent says that childhood obesity rates have tripled over the past two decades, leaving 10 percent of 6-year-olds and 16 percent of 15-year-olds obese. That figure is expected to rise to 26 percent by 2050, according to a government report published in 2007, which also warned of dramatic increases in type 2 diabetes, strokes and heart disease as a result. A report in the British Medical Journal recently determined that "active console games" such as the Wii "significantly increased participants' energy expenditure" in comparison to conventional systems.

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I thought some politicians said this was just more gimmickry.

As a Wii owner, I'd have to agree with those who say it is pretty much just gimmickry. While Wii golf may use more energy than Tiger Woods PGA 08 on the XBox, so would packing up your XBox for delivery to Microsoft Support. ie, it's not saying anything.

I guess as a first step it's better than nothing, but I expect you'd get a lot better results just putting up a DDR machine with free play, or tying the power of any console to an exercise bike.

Kwil:
As a Wii owner, I'd have to agree with those who say it is pretty much just gimmickry. While Wii golf may use more energy than Tiger Woods PGA 08 on the XBox, so would packing up your XBox for delivery to Microsoft Support. ie, it's not saying anything.

I guess as a first step it's better than nothing, but I expect you'd get a lot better results just putting up a DDR machine with free play, or tying the power of any console to an exercise bike.

???

This is the stupidest thing I have heard in a long time. Why not get the U.K. Government to Endorse heavier remote controls for the TV? They are promoting fat kids to stay inside, and play computer games. Cause that will help them loose weight.

Child hood obesity is caused by glanduar problems, too much food and zero exersize. The cure you say? Go outside more, ride a bike. Moving your wrists minutely is not going to stop kids getting fat. Having a Wii, knowing that you can play golf sat down using little movement, is going to make no difference, and even if they did the 7 packets of crisps and 3 cans of Coke they guzzle down after breaking a sweat will stop that gram of weight they lost.

Actualy, it all depends on what games, i get tired of playing my friends Wii boxing for to long. Especialy if its connected to a treadmill i think this can be a great source of exercise.

But att the end of the running around in the meadows, listening to the larks and smelling the flowers is probably the best method.

I must agree, the choice of games and moderation of actions is important - I can play Metroid Prime 3 all day and not break a sweat. Even with the grapple beam shield-snatching stuff. It really needs to be Wii Sports and Wii Fit and very little else. Of course, it makes a great carrot to the stick that is normally P.E.

Why not just have them go running? Do their parents write in and say it's not fair for their child to be physically exerted? It seems to me that this will just encourage them to play the video games more and take away from actual activity in PE. How silly, it's almost as if the folks in Worcestershire think this will give the kid some sort of tradition of exercise.

Then they say it's more exerting than other conventional systems. Why, of course it is. Unless you go into a fit of rage every 10 minutes, moving your arm back and forth slowly and moving your hands a bit for a bit is a bit more exercise than "A Button XIII: Versus" ever will be. But it's not enough. Schools should overhaul their PE program and place kids on an obesity danger list, and create extracurricular activities for these kids. It's like tutorial classes, but for children who are going to have 50 simultaneous heart attacks at age seven. Send mail to their parents, call them, tell them their child is being put at serious risk of an ungodly amount of extremely detrimental disorders related to obesity. It'll be cheaper than buying 1,000 Wii's, anyway, even if it's not as 'fun'.

Edit: Also, I've seen that picture of that blonde monster gesturing that he wants to eat that restaurant 'over there' more times than I can count. Where did it come from? It's usually in reference to America, and I'm more than a bit curious as to its origins.

I'm sure I remember some other report saying that playing Wii was not a worthy substitute for exercise (must have been a special bulletin from the Department of Obvious)

Even so... it says they're lining up during their lunch hour to play on it, so it's not displacing PE lessons - it's displacing lunch, which can only help

If it elevates their activity level above whatever it is they would normally be doing, then it's probably helping, but there have to be more effective and less costly ways of doing the same thing.

 

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