For the majority of people, games consoles such as the PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 are one of the most enjoyable and popular forms of home entertainment. Nowadays, young and older gamers alike are more likely to load up the latest blockbuster game for an hour or two in the evening as they are to watch a film, or enjoy the latest offering on the television.
Gaming has been one of the boom areas in the past few years and this new generation of games machine has been at the forefront of that, yet many people have claimed that sitting in front of a television screen doing little more than move your fingers, is promoting a culture of sloth and laziness.
While it is not our place to investigate these claims fully, what is undeniable is that it is unfair to label this technology as being the root cause of people being lazier and eating more unhealthy food items. Certainly not when you consider the wide variety of uses that these consoles can be put to, many of which can actively promote a more physical, stronger and healthier lifestyle.
A good example of this is the Nintendo Wii, this was one of the first consoles where the player actively had to move more than just their fingers to play. The innovative control system meant that players, when playing games such as Wii Tennis, Wii Bowling or Wii Boxing, actually had to make similar physical moves to people actually playing the sports in real life.
Since those games proved a huge success and helped drive the initial success of the Wii, other games have taken this premise and followed suit. Wii Fit (in conjunction with a Wii Fit board) can deliver a full fitness program tailored specifically for the individual and based around a number of fun to play games where the player works aspects of their fitness, but in a gaming context. Other games, such as Just Dance allow the player to work out and exercise to popular dance tracks.
Such was the success of the Wii that traditional consoles with hand-held controllers soon realised that they needed to offer an alternative. Soon both the PS3 and Xbox had their own handheld controllers and camera systems enabling players to use their body movements to be incorporated into the game. This in turn has turned gaming from a solitary sedentary exercise, into a more social, physical one.
In addition to this, there are now several games across all formats that will show players how to perform certain exercises and to play games to enable them to stay fit. Many of these products have been endorsed by some of sports most famous people, such as David Beckham.
So, don’t be tempted to think of the PS3, Xbox or Wii as simply a games machine; this technology is so versatile that it can be used as an aid to fitness quite easily and for relatively little outlay.