Wii Fit helps UK woman fight symptoms of Parkinson’s

Ever since the release of the Wii, we’ve heard one story after another about the system’s wide range of health benefits. Fans rave about the weight loss, physical therapy, stroke recovery, and other forms of Wii-habilitation made possible through the system. Gamers in general have also enjoyed improved eyesight, increased brain power and better multitasking abilities. The Wii has even been deemed worthy of endorsement by the American Heart Association

Now we can add another health benefit to the list — improvement of symptoms associated with Parkinson’s.

The Daily Mail reports that Jo Collinge (pictured above), a 48 year-old mom from the UK, has found relief from her debilitating condition by using Wii Fit for about 45 minutes per day.

Collinge gives this ringing endorsement of the flexible and effective workout regimen she created using Wii Fit:  “I would recommend it to anyone suffering with Parkinson’s. Everyone has different symptoms but this works for me. Another symptom of Parkinson’s is depression and I find that using the Wii keeps me positive and active.”

Citing “overwhelming feedback from people with Parkinson’s”, the charity Parkinson’s UK responded with a grant to Queen’s University in Belfast to further advance the research on how the Wii can be used to help those coping with the illness.

Despite the Wii’s domination of the current console generation, the observed health benefits of motion controls, and the increased prevalence of motion-based gaming with the appearance of Sony’s Move and Microsoft’s Kinect, some gamers are still strongly opposed to motion controls and feel that they are diluting the nature of the industry with gimmicks and catering to casual non-gamers. Some critics also suggest that the evidence of motion games boosting one’s health is  inconclusive.

Where do you fall on the spectrum? And have you experienced any particular health benefits by using the Wii?

Web developer living in Olympia, WA.