University of Queensland research assistant Daniel de Souza tries out the Nintendo Wii system which could be used to help diabetes sufferers improve their fitness.
University of Queensland research assistant Daniel de Souza tries out the Nintendo Wii system which could be used to help diabetes sufferers improve their fitness. Rob Williams

Could Wii be key in diabetes fight?

THE ‘Wii revolution' is set to take the fight to diabetes thanks to an innovative research program about to be launched at the University of Queensland's Ipswich campus.

Up to 40 volunteers with type two diabetes are being sought to be part of a four-week exercise program that will test the effectiveness of Nintendo Wii Sports video games on sufferers who have a sedentary lifestyle.

The study, endorsed by Diabetes Queensland, will be supervised by an accredited exercise physiologist and qualified diabetes educator.

Dr Hugh Senior, senior research fellow in the school of medicine, said diabetes was “becoming more prevalent in Australia, with people putting more weight on because it was easy to have high energy foods.”

“The treatment for diabetes is diet and exercise, so we are looking at alternative exercises to give them more choice,” he said.

“The research to date has shown that a Wii game of 30 minutes is equivalent to the amount of energy expenditure to a brisk walk for 30 minutes.

“Our study is to see if it does make a difference in terms of their level of fitness and whether it makes a difference in their overall level of physical activity.”

The UQ's Dr Tim Henwood said there was a “whole new Wii revolution going on” and a lot of researchers were acknowledging this.

“We are looking for sustainable programs and something people can afford. And they can have it in their own homes,” he said.

The studies will be conducted at the Ipswich campus of UQ.

For further information contact Daniel de Souza at d.desouza@uq.edu.au or phone 3381 1596.

 

The Wii revolution

  • Two million Australians have bought a Wii unit since its introduction – 10% of the population. A range of sports such as boxing, baseball, tennis, tenpin bowling and golf can be played on Wii.


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