Weight loss after pregnancy using videogames

(02-25-2014) Losing weight after pregnancyFitness gaming can be quite difficult and the gained weight often remains where it is. Different studies have shown that physical activity and fitness exercise are effective ways to make the additional pregnancy pounds disappear. Many young mothers however find it difficult to keep up regular exercise because the young baby requires a lot of attention and leaving the house to exercise is often difficult. Certrain computer games require people to exercise to play. Researchers from Japan performed a study on the effectiveness of playing these active computer games on weight loss after pregnancy. 

What did the researchers do?

Thirty four women were asked to participate in the study. All women had given birth between 3 and 12 months before starting the study program. The women were randomly divided into a Video game training group and a Control group. The Video Game training group was asked to play the Wii Fit Plus game on the Nintendo Wii for 30 minutes each day. They were however free to play as much as they could and/or liked. Exercise intensity of the Wii Fit Plus game was around 3 METs or Metabolic Equivalents. This intensity is comparable to walking or riding a bicycle. The Control group was asked to continue their regular lifestyle. The program was 40 days in total and before and after this period the participants were weighed and waist circumference and fat mass were measured.

What were the results?

The results are depicted in the figures below:

25-02-2014 Figure 1 Wii Fit after Pregnancy Weight










Figure 1: Effects on body weight in kg.


Effects on waist circumference in cm










Figure 2: Effects on waist circumference in cm.


Effects on fat mass










Figure 3: Effects on fat mass in kg.


Video Game Group Control Group
Body Weight -3.6% -0.8%
Waist Circumference -3.3% -0.5%
Fat Mass -7.0% -2.5%
Table 1: Relative changes after 40 days

After 40 days both the Video Game group and Control group lost a significant amount of body weight and fat mass. However these reductions were larger in the Video Game group. In addition, only the Video Game group significantly reduced their waist circumference. Although the participants in the Video Game group were recommended to play 30 minutes each day, they on average played 4 days each week for 62 minutes a day. So although they did not play daily, they played for longer periods when they did play than was recommended initially.

What did the researchers conclude?

The researchers concluded that playing video games that require the player to be physically active is a useful and feasible method of weight loss after pregnancy and reduce waist circumference and fat mass in a reasonably long period of time. In addition the participants rather liked this form of physical activity, which can be seen from the long playing time as well. In conclusion: active video games are a feasible and enjoyable way of weight loss after pregnancy.

What does this mean for me?

-Playing video games that require physical activity to play is a reasonably effective method of weight loss after pregnancy .

-Video games that require physical activity to play are an alternative to other forms of exercise such as walking when it is difficult to leave home because of the baby.

-Although it is a usefull alternative for physical activity, a combination of physical activity, fitness training and a healthy lifestyle remains more effective method of weight loss after pregnancy.


-Tripette, J., Murakami, H., Gando, Y. et al. Home-Based Active Video Games to Promote Weight Loss during the Postpartum Period. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 2014, 46,3,472-478.