Research from Germany shows that activity based computer games is effective for weight loss, blood glucose control and even reducing depression for people with diabetes.
The study monitored 220 patients with type 2 diabetes over the course of 12 weeks. Those in the Wii Fit group used the Wii Fit Plus game with a Balance Board for the console for half an hour per day over the 3 months. A control group received routine care for 12 weeks, including recommendations to exercise but no additional means.
The participants were monitored for HbA1c, fasting blood glucose, weight loss, body mass index (BMI) and given quality of life assessments. Over the study period, participants in the Wii Fit group saw their fasting blood glucose levels drop from 7.5 mmol/l to 7.0 mmol/l compared to control group participants that had fasting blood glucose levels at 7.2 mmol/l at start and end of the study.
The Wii Fit participants saw weight loss of 1.2kg compared with 0.7kg in the control group. HbA1c levels reduced in the Wii Fit group by 3 mmol/mol (0.3%) and in the control group by 1 mmol/mol (0.1%). The Wii Fit group exercise significantly more than the control group and also scored significantly better quality of life scores and reduced scores for depression.
The news will be welcomed by people with type 2 diabetes that are looking for a way to stay active that is effective, fun and can also be carried out within the warmth of the home over the winter months. Combined with a healthy diet, half an hour or more exercise on an activity centred game could help to improve blood sugar levels through the advent and Christmas period.

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