Well I hope everyone has enjoyed some time off with friends, family and loved ones over the Christmas holiday! I certainly did – plenty of laughter, games and good food.
Most of you who have been following the past couple of posts realize that I thoroughly enjoy playing the Nintendo Wii. It has everything I want in a video game console: fun, nice graphics and interactivity (gotta love these remotes/nunchucks!). And yes, I absolutely did play til I couldn’t play anymore. The Wii Sports Boxing always, always makes me look like I just came out of a pool and my aunt lets me know that I can’t sit back on the nice couch drenched in sweat. Gotta take the good with the bad I guess.
Well, today I was reading through Tara Parker-Pope’s recent article over at the New York Times and apart from the speculation that it wasn’t a “real” study, it got me thinking. Basically, the study from the British Medical Journal says that although games on the Wii, such as Wii Tennis, do allow children to burn more calories than less interactive (read: less moving around) games, it still is no substitute for the real activity. Spoof study or not, I think most people can come to that conclusion without much scientific investigation. But alas, I have another point to ponder upon!
Have we as a society become so sedentary and so bogged down with “losing 20 pounds in just one week” gimmicks that we have forgotten how to really stay healthy and active? When I was in elementary school, healthy living principles were taught frequently. Health education classes were important – your basic tenets of drinking more water, less soda/sweets, and running around in the sunshine were ingrained in our everyday lives as kids! Forget that some of the pictures in the textbooks were from the really early 80s where kids wore super short shorts – they were HEALTHY for Pete’s sake!
I’m sure 20 years ago people would have laughed at the idea of jumping and bouncing around with a video game as a form of exercise – that would have just been considered jumping and bouncing around with a video game. But nowadays, seeing a few beads of sweat on the average gamer child or teen is so rare, we applaud the moment. Forgive me if I’m wrong but I think we should focus on the basics again and for a good while in the classroom, because if I hear another 11 year old talking about going on the Atkins diet or asking about a new weight loss drug, I’m going to go insane. Wii for older adults/seniors on the other hand, might be something to look into.
Ever think about how interactive Duck Hunt could be now? Naaaahh…