Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/07/15/student_footballer_wii_fitness/

Soccer star scores uni degree with Wii

Back o' the net!

By James Sherwood

Posted in Science, 15th July 2008 08:01 GMT

Gamers have argued about the Wii’s ability to aid weight loss since the console’s launch. But now we've got an answer, thanks to a professional footballer.

Conall Murtagh, 23, plays football for Wrexham and is also a student. He’s just picked up a degree in physiology from Manchester University for studying the health benefits of the Wii and asking whether it could help solve the obesity crisis.

Murtagh concluded that playing on the Wii can indeed benefit weight loss, but that the exercise has to be performed correctly. For example, if you’re playing the boxing game then you’ll have to do more than just wave your arms about.

The sportsman-cum-student roped friends into playing ten-minute exercise routines as part of the study. The trial centred on a virtual treadmill session followed by boxing.

Murtagh told the Manchester Evening News that he measured players’ heart rates and “energy expenditure by the air players expired”. He then analysed the gases in it, including oxygen and carbon dioxide.

The result - though you might think it obvious - the harder your work, the more energy you expend and the more weight you lose.

Liz Sheader, the student’s university tutor, said: “It's not a massive cure for obesity but it definitely has perks.” She’s obviously not much of a gamer.