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Michael TorchiaOperation Fitness
By
Michael Torchia

The Ill Effects of Wii Play Station Games and what to do about it

There is a new phenomenon that is occurring as a result of extensive and widespread usage of the Wii Fit and Wii Balance Board.  As more people use the Wii as an exercise tool, they are sustaining injuries in their knees, back and wrists because of overuse and improper warm-up.  


It seems that up to ten people a week are being hospitalized with injuries caused by playing Nintendo Wii games, prompting doctors in Britain to issue warnings of the dangers associated with the Wii video game system. “There has been a 100 percent increase in patients complaining of Wii-itis,” says, Dr. Dev Mukerjee of Broomfield Hospital, Essex.  "Most patients are admitted after playing tennis or running games which involve sudden movements, resulting in tendon stretching or tearing." “It’s possible Wii-itis may lead to rheumatism or arthritis later in life. Patients often have inflamation of the shoulder or wrist,” said Dr. Mukerjee.  


Another common injury is the Wii-knee, blamed on the bending of the knee from using the Wii special platform and a series of movements ranging from yoga to strength-training moves.  In extreme cases, the kneecap can be dislocated or pop out of joint.  Doctors commonly treat Wii-knee with cortisone injections, icing, and anti-inflammatory painkillers. Treatments can last up to three months.  In addition, it is extremely important to learn proper form when first taking up a new sport.  Novice players will develop improper stroke patterns from long term use of the sports games, which can potentially effect their ability to excel in those specific activities later in life.

 
Here are a few tips to prevent Wii-Injuries:

 
First: Warm up and stretch before every session and don't over exert yourself. Remember to stretch and allow your body to cool down after each exercise.


Second: Work within your limits to get a good experience from the balance board and to prevent hurting yourself.


Third: Give yourself time in between games. Play games 3 or 4 times a week instead of everyday, and make sure to pace yourself between games.


Fourth: Consult your Doctor about beginning a routine that involves different exercises and stress on the joints (specifically knees, back and elbow). Ask what suggestions he/she has regarding this type of exercise.


Fifth: The best for last. Don't use it... get off your butt and go ride a bike, play tennis, or find an activity you enjoy! 


Finally: Realize the Wii Play Station and balance board are physical games that require practice before fully exerting yourself.  The Wii games are designed for fun and you must find the proper balance between the fun part and the exertion part... you will end up having a much better experience.


The Nintendo game design team wasn’t content to just let us sit around and play video games on the couch.  Instead they had to invent a gaming system that makes us actually get up off the couch and move around, thus exposing just how out of shape we’ve become as a society. Well guess what?  Most people still sit on the couch and play the games because they are Realii lazy!

 

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