Can video games really make you healthier?

Slimmers and gamers have the opportunity to visit the Science Museum’s Dana Centre this March to discover if video games could aid weight loss.

Play away the calories, taking place on Wednesday 26 March, will allow visitors a special preview of the new Nintendo Wii Fit (due to launch across Europe on 25 April) to ascertain if modern, interactive technology could really increase fitness levels.

Visitors will have the opportunity to try out Wii Fit for themselves and watch as its effectiveness is put to the test in a series of live tests. Human guinea pigs will be put through their paces exercising on a treadmill, testing out Wii Fit and playing a more sedentary game, whilst measurements of their heart rate and oxygen consumption are taken to calculate how much energy is burnt.

Throughout the evening sport scientists, physiologists and games experts will be on hand to engage and discuss whether gaming can promote a healthy lifestyle. Epidemiologist Andy Jones from the University of East Anglia will examine how and why adult obesity has quadrupled in the last 25 years and will look at the role technology has played in creating a more sedentary life.

Andy Jones said“Today individuals lead much less active lives than we used to. Levels of employment in manual jobs are falling and we drive everywhere rather than walking or cycling.”

“We need to do lots of things to combat the problem but should try to incorporate activity into our everyday life rather than expecting everyone to go to the gym. We need people to exercise without seeing it as such! So making games more active is one way forward.”

Gaming expert Margaret Robertson will reveal the history of healthy gaming and why this area has failed to make a significant impact before. Visitors will be able to test past examples of gaming technology aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle, such as the original NES fitness games and dance mats.

Gaetan Lee, Dana Centre event organiser said“The Dana Centre aims to explore the most exciting subjects of contemporary and controversial science and technology. Play away the calories is no exception and promises adults an energetic night of game-playing and discussion.”

The Science Museum’s Dana Centre café/bar provides visitors with the opportunity to explore and discuss the latest issues in contemporary science, medicine and technology through informal, interactive and stimulating events. All events are free. The centre is open to over 18s only.

Play away the calories takes place at the Science Museum’s Dana Centre on 26 March, 19:00-21:00 and is sponsored by Nintendo.

Ends

To attend the event or if you require more information or images, please contact Katy Hack in the Science Museum press office on 020 7942 4354 or email katy.hack@sciencemuseum.org.uk

Notes to Editors:

· Dana Centre, 165 Queen’s Gate, London SW7 5HD. Nearest tube is Gloucester Road

· Our events are open to anyone aged 18 and over. All events are FREE, but places should be pre-booked by calling 020 7942 4040 or e-mailing tickets@danacentre.org.uk

· People across the UK and beyond can experience the events by webcast and podcast at www.danacentre.org.uk

1. Nintendo– the worldwide innovator in the creation of interactive entertainment, Nintendo Co., Ltd., of Kyoto, Japan, manufactures and markets hardware and software for its Wii™, Nintendo DS™, Game Boy® Advance and Nintendo GameCube™ systems. Since 1983, Nintendo has sold more than 2.5 billion video games and more than 430 million hardware units globally, and has created industry icons like Mario™, Donkey Kong®, Metroid®, Zelda™ and Pokémon®. As a wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of Europe, based in Grossostheim, Germany, was established in 1990 and serves as headquarters for Nintendo’s operations in Europe.

2. The Dana Centre is a collaboration between the Science Museum, the BA (British Association for the Advancement of Science) and The European Dana Alliance for the Brain (EDAB) making it unrivalled in its expertise and depth of knowledge of scientific and technological fields. The Centre is housed in the Wellcome Wolfson Building alongside the headquarters of the BA, EDAB and Science Museum offices.

3. The£9.8 million building has been provided by four major benefactors– the Wellcome Trust, the Wolfson Foundation, The Dana Foundation and the Garfield Weston Foundation.

4. The Science Museum exists to promote the public understanding of the history and contemporary practice of science, medicine, technology and industry. It aims to inspire, educate and involve visitors. It achieves this by building, researching and caring for the national collections; and by interpreting these collections and engaging the public in the contemporary issues they raise.

5. The BA (British Association for the Advancement of Science) exists to advance the public understanding, accessibility and accountability of the sciences and engineering. This means helping create a social climate in which science, and the organisations dependent on it, advances with the involvement and active support of non-scientists. We aim to promote openness about science in society and to affirm science as a prime cultural force by engaging and inspiring adults and young people directly with science andtechnology, and their implications.

6. The goal of EDAB is to inform the general public and decision makers about the importance of brain research. EDAB aims to advance knowledge about the personal and public benefits of neuroscience and to disseminate information on the brain, in health and disease, in an accessible and relevant way.

7. Nearest tube: Gloucester Road. There is no parking at the Dana Centre (except for disabled drivers). Residents’ parking restrictions apply until 10:00pm.


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