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ACSM In The News

ACSM is fortunate to be the go-to source on sports medicine and exercise science for several national and international media outlets. You can find some of our most recent coverage below, or you can view archived articles.  

Interactive Video Games Help Meet Exercise Recommendations

by User Not Found | Aug 01, 2011
Physical activity levels vary by audience, type of game

SEATTLE – Interactive video games – such those played on the Nintendo Wii – may raise heart rate and provide exercise intensity levels high enough to meet federal physical activity guidelines, according to a pair studies presented at the American College of Sports Medicine’s 56th Annual Meeting in Seattle.

The studies tested various Wii games to determine their energy requirements for college students and older adults, respectively. The college students played Wii boxing and tennis, and performed Wii Fit exercises, while the older adults only played Wii bowling.

For the college students, only Wii Boxing increased heart rate and VO2 levels enough to classify the activity as “moderate-intensity.” Although that level meets basic physical activity recommendations set forth by the  U.S. government and ACSM, study authors say it might still not be intense enough for some.

“If a college age student has average fitness, an interactive game like Wii Boxing will provide little stimulus to improve aerobic capacity,” said Elizabeth DiRico, M.S., the study’s lead researcher. “If someone has a high level of fitness and is training or trying to increase their aerobic capacity even more, they’re going to have to do something beyond playing these games. However, this could be a way for sedentary people to get started with exercise and also provides those fit individuals with the opportunity to increase their overall daily physical activity.”

Conversely, in the older adults study, Wii Bowling significantly increased heart rate in participants, as well as boosted mood and helped them feel refreshed and energized.

“Older adults often have a difficult time starting a fitness routine later in life,” said Lucas Willoughby, ACSM Certified Health/Specialist, who co-authored the study with Petra Schuler, Ph.D. “Active game-playing might help them see that exercise isn’t about just hitting the treadmill. It can be fun and socially enjoyable, too.”

ACSM guidelines support the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, which recommend that adults participate in at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, an amount that can easily be achieved in 30-minute segments five days a week.


The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 35,000 international, national and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.

The conclusions outlined in this news release are those of the researchers only, and should not be construed as an official statement of the  American College of Sports Medicine.

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