While Nintendo Wii gained popularity as the game that combined fun with fitness, gamers are increasingly suffering muscle injuries caused due to what is being termed as "Acute Wiitis" and "Nintendinitis."
A large number of active video gamers are reportedly reaching physiotherapists with complaints of repetitive strain muscle injuries owing to excessive playing hours spent on Sony's Nintendo Wii.
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Darren Rivett, Associate Professor and Australian Physiotherapy Association spokesman, said that the new injury trend had emerged in the past year and increased as the game gained popularity.
"It's not an epidemic but certainly after the Christmas period with a new game and plenty of time to play, we see a lot more. People jump in a bit too enthusiastically and do too much, at too high a level, too soon," The Courier Mail quoted Rivett as saying.
He advised that players need to treat a Wii session as regular sport and exercise, with warm-up stretches, regular breaks and a time-limit on play.
And if taken otherwise, one could risk repetitive or sudden strain, with the knees, shoulder and upper arm more prone to injury.
But, he claimed that the exercise benefits far exceed the risk of injury.
In fact, the game had also been used in the "Wiihabilitation" of stroke and accident victims.
A Wii devotee Matt Pfeffer, 24, of Toowong in Brisbane said the games should be seen as a complement to regular outdoor sports, rather than a replacement form of exercise.
"At the end of the day it gets the kids off the couch instead of pressing buttons. Any kind of movement has got to have some benefit," he said.
Physiotherapists have offered some tips to play Wii safely, which include stretching before beginning play, starting at a lower level to warm up muscles and taking regular pauses from play, every 15 to 20 minutes.
Players were also recommended to stop playing at the first sign of soreness followed by a break for a few days.
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