When Nintendo introduced the Wii Fit, fitness program for its popular gaming platform , it was hailed as a new concept in personal fitness. Unfortunately, early finding from a study of 1,000 users in Japan suggest the dropout rate is far greater than that of gym memberships.
The Wii, controlled with handheld motion-detection controls, offers workout routines including yoga, strength training, balance, and aerobics. It will also test and monitor your progress. Advocates extol the virtues of its convenience and fun factor. However, the Japanese study found that almost two-thirds of users abandoned the fitness program, while only 22% claimed to follow it closely. This far exceeds the typical U.S. gym dropout rate of 20-30%.
Why the disuse? While I couldn't find stats on the average use of home exercise equipment, I do know that used treadmills, stationary bikes and the like are great buys, because many of them have been used only to hold laundry. I suspect the Wii falls in that category. Committing to a workout at home by yourself is a commitment all too easy to break. And for many of us, exercising alone is never fun, no matter how 21st century the method might be.
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