His name is Mickey DeLorenzo, and the only thing he changed in his lifestyle was adding daily, 30-minute sessions of playing sports games on his Wii – a gaming console where you move around in real life and your actions are emulated onscreen.
By just spending 30 minutes each day playing simulated boxing, tennis or baseball, DeLorenzo has lost 9 pounds since starting his “Wii Sports Experiment” on December 3. The experiment included utilizing a body fat caliper and a calorie-burning calculator to track his weight loss.
“I lost almost 2 percent of my body fat by doing nothing more than playing video games for an extra 30 minutes every day,” DeLorenzo wrote on his blog. He did not change anything else in his daily routine, but he now weighs 172 pounds, versus starting out at 181 pounds.
In addition to reducing his body fat, his resting heart rate fell by more than 10 points and his Body Mass Index fell from 25.2 to a straight 24, taking him out of the “overweight” category and into the “normal” range on the BMI scale.
Aggressively playing Wii Tennis for just fifteen minutes burned an average of 92 calories, DeLorenzo found. Bowling took up 77 calories. The best workout, though, was boxing, at a rate of 125 calories for a 15-minute game of jabs and hooks.
For comparison, an hour of bowling at your local alley can burn around 250 calories for an average person of 190 pounds, according to the web site ShapeFit.com. That equates to using 62.5 calories per 15 minutes at a leisurely pace.
"I'm on my 15 minutes (of fame) here," DeLorenzo jokes. His story of losing weight with a Wii has given him national exposure through the mainstream media.
Using “active” video games like the Wii as a form of exercise is nothing new: Last year, a pilot fitness program in West Virginia integrated Konami’s video game Dance Dance Revolution into P.E. classes for more than 150 middle schools.