Nintendo’s Wii Fit Plus improves the lives of patients with type-2 diabetes and controls their blood sugar levels, according to a new medical report. BMC Endocrine Disorders carried out the trial based on 220 participants for a period of 12 weeks, with half of those asked to use Wii Fit Plus for half an hour a day. The second half who chose to participate in the trial remained under routine care and received a Wii console, balance board and the fitness game 12 weeks later.
For those that received the fitness game from the beginning, the report indicates that they lost weight and simultaneously improved their blood sugar levels. Once the second half of the participants were switched over to Wii Fit Plus, they noticed similar benefits also.
Experts noted that daily physical activity increased significantly, along with mental health and subjective well-being. The study also found that the number of patients suffering from depression notably decreased. However, the report recorded that a third of the patients dropped out of the trial, meaning that it could be difficult to get people to retain the same level of enthusiasm over a sustained period of time.
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.”