Nintendo Wii games and home gyms cause £1.3 billion of accidental damage
Women exercising indoors have caused up to £1.3 billion in accidental damage in the last year, as they increasingly give up gym memberships and use games consoles such as the Nintendo Wii.
The popularity of basic home gyms, exercise videos and the hugely successful Wii Fit game has meant the cost of damage to the home caused while exercising has increased six-fold in the last 12 months.
An estimated 13 million women now exercise at home, either in front of a television or computer monitor, or using basic weights and home gym equipment. This compares to 8.7 million women who currently hold a gym membership or have held one in the past year.
Nintendo, the Japanese company behind the Wii, released figures earlier this year which indicated that there were a total of 5 million of the consoles inside British homes – one in a quarter of all households, as video games increasingly become mainstream. Its best selling game of last year was the Wii Fit, which allows players to do yoga and exercises with the aid of an on-screen trainer.
According to a survey, conducted for Sheilas’ Wheels home insurance, a fifth of women have had an accident in the past year while exercising or being active in the home – perhaps unsurprising as the average living area contains just two metres of free space.
The poll suggested that cheaper, and possibly more entertaining, alternatives to the gym were proving popular with exercise fans, with the most popular being walking (63%), swimming (34%), Wii or Wii Fit (22%) and cycling (17%), compared to 17% who go the gym.
Jacky Brown, a spokesman for the insurance company, said: ‘Our research shows that more and more women are shying away from the gym and are increasingly keen to exercise at home to save time and money. In-home computer consoles such as the Wii Fit can be a great fun way to get the heart beating without having to fork out a pricey annual membership.’
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