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Why Wait for Jan. 1? Survey Shows Active-Play Video Games Can Get People Moving Now

December 10, 2010, 7:38 pm PST

Nintendo and the American Heart Association Offer "12 Days of Getting Active" Holiday Tips

REDMOND, Wash., Dec. 8, 2010 – A new survey from the American Heart Association shows that playing active-play video games can lead players to participate in more real-world physical activity. According to the survey, 58 percent of people who play active-play video games have begun a new real-life fitness activity like walking, tennis or jogging since they started playing the games. Additionally, 68 percent of people who play active-play video games say they are more physically active since they got involved in video games.

Inspired by these results, Nintendo and the American Heart Association are combining fun and fitness this holiday with "12 Days of Getting Active." A series of daily tips starting today will help make it easy for people to get active, even when they are challenged with busy schedules and sweet temptations. The tips will be posted at http://www.activeplaynow.com, the joint American Heart Association-Nintendo online information center, and will focus on how active-play video games can get everyone in the family engaged in fun, physically active behavior leading into and through the New Year.

"We are looking at active-play video games as part of a realistic approach to fitness," said Barry A. Franklin, Ph.D., Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Exercise Laboratories at William Beaumont Hospital in Michigan and an American Heart Association volunteer. "We are finding that they often act as a gateway to other forms of physical activity. So as people get up off the couch to play Wii games, they're likely to stay up and do more – like walking, jogging or playing tennis."

"We're encouraging people to use their time together during the holidays to get moving with active-play video games," said Marc Franklin, Nintendo of America's director of Public Relations. "Games like Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports Resort get the whole family up off the couch and staying active while having fun."

The survey also showed that 82 percent of those who engage in active-play video games now play more with family and friends, suggesting that these types of video games inspire social fun. The holidays are a great time to keep this trend going.

In addition, the survey revealed interesting insight into the difference between men and women, what motivates them and how they play active-play video games. Men are more likely than women to play active-play video games with their children (men 65 percent vs. women 56 percent). Men are also more likely than women to play active-play video games with someone else on the same console (men 51 percent vs. women 36 percent). However, women like active-play video games more than men for a number of reasons. They can stay active at home (61 percent), can play day or night (49 percent), can try things they wouldn't normally do, like skiing (47 percent), and can push their physical limits (24 percent).

The American Heart Association and Nintendo of America are engaged in a first-of-its-kind, multifaceted strategic relationship aimed at helping people create healthy lifestyles through physically active play. The two organizations are working together on multiple fronts to help consumers discover how active-play video games contribute to healthy living. The iconic American Heart Association brand appears on boxes for the Wii Fit™ Plus and Wii Sports Resort™ software and for the Wii™ system itself. For more information about Nintendo's strategic relationship with the AHA, visit http://www.activeplaynow.com.

The survey was conducted Oct. 25- Nov. 1, 2010, by the American Heart Association and included a total of 2,284 male and female respondents ages 25-55.

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