Wii Fit games 'help control diabetes'

 
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Playing "active" computer games can help people with type-2 diabetes better control their blood sugar, a medical trial has indicated.

Researchers recruited 220 diabetic patients for their study and asked half to use Nintendo's Wii Fit Plus for half an hour a day over three months.

The gamers not only lost weight but also achieved lower glucose levels.

When the other group later switched to play the Wii they had similar benefits, BMC Endocrine Disorders reports.

Start Quote

Further research will be needed to identify the long-term effects of such games compared to other approaches”

End Quote Dr Richard Elliott of Diabetes UK

Experts said exercise in any shape or form could be good, but that some activities would offer greater benefits than others.

Being active is particularly important for people with diabetes. It helps the body use insulin more efficiently as well as stay generally fit and keep a healthy weight.

For some, exercising and sticking to a healthy diet may be enough to keep diabetes in check.

Prof Stephan Martin and colleagues from the West German Centre for Diabetes and Health, who carried out the study, say exercise computer games offer an alternative way to get people physically active.

But they also note that getting people to stick at it could be harder - a third of their study participants dropped out of the trial.

Those who did persevere saw significant improvements in a measure of blood sugar control called HbA1c.

And they reported improvements in wellbeing and quality of life.

Dr Richard Elliott, of Diabetes UK, said: "Physical activity and a healthy balanced diet, along with taking doctor-prescribed medications if necessary, can help people with type-2 diabetes to control their condition and minimise their risk of diabetes related complications over time.

"To make physical activity part of your daily routine it's important to find an approach that works for you and is enjoyable, as this will make it easier to keep active in the long run.

"Computer games that promote a healthy lifestyle might be one way to achieve this, but different forms of physical activity might work better for different people. Further research will be needed to identify the long-term effects of such games compared to other approaches."

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 30.

    As a type-1 diabetic I am so pleased you have made clear its type-2 that can be caused by lifestyle.

    Usually its reported as just diabetes & the differences can be ignored - they are 2 different conditions.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 29.

    Well at least it is a good and attractive point to getting exercise. Nothing more inane and pointless than just exercising for the sake of it. So free Wiis and games on the NHS!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 28.

    Being active improves your health. Full stop.

    The Wii was the first platform to make gaming accessible to many generations. My mum loves it as much as my friends. And the games are well designed so you don't spend ages learning the ropes.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 27.

    You really can get a safe and enjoyable workout with the wii fit board and software but I haven't got the discipline to keep it up. However I sweat buckets playing table tennis and boxing, no change in my pre-diabetes since last year, Best piece of hardware I have bought recently is an air fryer though.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 26.

    Just to counterbalance the BBC advert...

    The Wii is also an outdated games console, best used in Old Folks Homes or places where standing up is an achievement.




    Go for a walk outside for 30 minutes, cut down to 2 glasses of wine, and then beat your kid at Fifa PS3..... health plan sorted.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 25.

    Nice free advertising for Nintendo then BBC!
    From experience it is very easy to play the Wii while not exercising in the way advertised, indeed it often yields better results on Wii games, as the technology is not developed enough to force you to move around.
    What's wrong with going for a run anyway?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 24.

    If you follow the link to the original article, you will find the trial was funded by Novartis and a German charity. Unless Novartis is branching out into consoles, no conflicts there.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 23.

    "13. Remus
    "Whizzo washes whiter" say the makers of Whizzo.

    Right, that's settled then."

    Oh, Thanks Remus!

    Are you telling me that after years of using "Mega-White" I should have been using Whizzo?

    Dammit! :o(

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 22.

    I'm getting bored with the drivvel spouted by some journalists. Is this really a story? Exercise and being active makes you lose weight and feel better about yourself...what this written by a five year old.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 21.

    #15. Guttersnipe, Not everyone enjoys walking so in my view any exercise preferably one that people enjoy is better than nothing.

    I use the wii to supplement my very active life in the winter when it is too dangerous to walk on the icy covered pavements.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 20.

    Everyone cheats on the wii, all you have to do is move a wrist

    kinect however will MAKE you move. I remember when i played it often and after 10 mins i was sweating like a good'un!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 19.

    I am a type 2 diabetic. A mixture of medication, diet and excersise (I dance 2 -5 times a week) and my HbA1c is as good as anybodys without diabetes. I am astounded everytime I go to the clinic for a check, but I must be doing something right.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 18.

    Emperors new clothes........nuff said

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 17.

    Does it make to wii better?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 16.

    Controlling the amount of sugar and salt manufacturers put in our food might be a better way to go.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 15.

    What results would they have got if they'd just asked the same control group to go for a half hour walk each day and eat healthy food? This just seems to be another opportunity for the BBC to use placement advertising - watch the face of your diabetic friend light up at Christmas as he unwraps yet another crappy WII fit game.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 14.

    Oh, for goodness sake. Get out there in the fresh air, run around and get some proper exercise. It's far cheaper than a Wii!

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 13.

    "Whizzo washes whiter" say the makers of Whizzo.

    Right, that's settled then.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 12.

    HYS is becoming more and more divorced from the realities faced by ordinary people. Topics you can only comment on if you are a service producer, and why is the Mandela service on HYS at all? We are mostly NOT at the stadium!
    Very very poor editorial standards.
    As for this story on Diabetes and games, can we be informed who funded the research please, so we can know of any conflict of interest?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 11.

    Seems like a desparate attempt by the gaming companies to get the couch potatoes to stay on the couch.

    If they had another group on an exercise regime and the "gaming group" outperformed them, it would have been an impressive result. This type os study gies research a bad name.

 

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