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March 4, 2009 at 1:58 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Are Wii Injured?

By Katie from SLN More Blogs by This Author

On the role call of cool toys, the Nintendo Wii is definitely way up there. Kids and adults alike have found an activity that is entertaining, family friendly, and even a little bit healthy. It would seem that this magic combination of fun is without flaw. Which, of course, it's not. We're beginning to read more and more on the blogs and news media about the epidemic of Wii injuries - the bumps, bruises and aches endured by the Wii playing population. These can range from funny to not so funny, and might even put enthusiasts out of gaming commission for a day or two. Some of the common Wii injuries include:

  • Being hit by your own remote or someone else's
  • Wrist and elbow strain
  • Back, knee, and shoulder pain
  • Falling down
  • Exhaustion

Although doctors say that in general, the injuries resulting from Wii playing are not a large concern, they recommend preceding a Wii session with a brief warm up. This could be walking, swinging your arms, or stretching. They also suggest playing for 30 minutes or less at a time, and stopping as soon as you experience cramps, pain, or discomfort. Good advice. The Wii is becoming a popular fixture in communities of older adults, such as retirement or nursing homes. The idea is that the activity will be challenging and social, yet gentle enough to minimize injuries. Of course, for these gamers, it is especially important to be careful. Beyond specific injuries, Wii concerns involve the amount of proper movement the games promote. You would think that the fast movements were good exercise, and they can be. However, they are really nothing like the motions they mimic. For example, if you were to play tennis in real life, you would be running back and forth, and only swinging your arm when the ball made its way onto your side of the net. In the Wii version of tennis, all you really need to do is snap your wrist every couple of seconds. The result is that you don't get much cardio action, and your arm and wrist swing a lot. In addition, unless you play real tennis regularly, you probably aren't holding your arm correctly for the repeated swings. Really though, there's no need to be afraid of the Wii - it's definitely a healthy step up from the thumb wars of older game systems. Just don't be overeager, and watch for wild remote handling. As a further warning of potential damage, we've included a portion of NPR's list of dreaded Wii injuries:

  • Super Mario Finger Claw
  • Lazy Person's Tennis Shoulder
  • Dancing With The Stars "She Bangs" Toe
  • Stress Fracture To Sense Of Childlike Wonder
  • Pervasive Targeting Squint With Associated Brow Furrow
  • Severe Pride Contusions

Play hard, and play safe!

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