The contribution of upper limb and total body movement to adolescents’ energy expenditure whilst playing Nintendo Wii

  • Lee E. F. GravesEmail author
  • Nicola D. Ridgers
  • Gareth Stratton
Original Article


Little research documents the contribution of upper limb and total body movement to energy expenditure (EE) during active video gaming. To address this, EE, heart rate (HR), and, upper limb and total body movement were assessed in 11- to 17-year-old adolescents whilst playing three active (Nintendo Wii) and one sedentary (XBOX 360) video games. Non-dominant upper limb activity, EE and HR were significantly greater during Wii Sports boxing [mean 267.2 (SD 115.8) J kg−1 min−1; 136.7 (24.5) beats min−1] than tennis or bowling (P ≤ 0.044). For all active games hip activity best predicted EE (R 2 ≥ 0.53), with two-measure models of HR and single-site activity data, and multi-site activity data, similarly explaining the variance in EE (R 2 ≥ 0.64). The physiological cost of upper-body orientated active video games increased when movement of both upper limbs was encouraged. Improvements in EE explanatory power provide support for multi-site activity monitoring during unique, non-ambulatory activities.


Physical activity Video games Accelerometer Sedentary behaviour 



The authors are grateful to the participants for their enthusiasm and contributions to this research. This study received external funding from the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund for Liverpool City Council. The authors have no financial relationships relevant to this article to disclose.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lee E. F. Graves
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Nicola D. Ridgers
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gareth Stratton
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Research Institute for Sport and Exercise SciencesLiverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK
  2. 2.The REACH (Research into Exercise, Activity and Child Health) GroupLiverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolUK

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