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Nintendo Wii Balance Board

The Wii Balance Board was introduced in North America in May of 2008, and is the defining accessory for Wii fitness games. Most games make use of the Balance Board to get the most out of your fitness activities, and games such as Wii Fit Plus require the Balance Board to play. It's shaped like a scale, runs on batteries, and is about 20 inches wide, 12 inches long, and stands around 2 inches tall1. But what does it do?


Wii Balance Board

Put simply, the Balance Board measures the player's weight and center of balance. Let's take a look at why these are important.

Weight

By measuring the player's weight, fitness games that use the Balance Board are able to track their progress and also determine an appropriate level of workout program to best benefit the player. Many games will require the player to give their age and height, which is used in conjunction with the player's weight to calculate just how many calories each exercise is burning. By tracking calorie expenditure and weight loss, your fitness game can continue to evolve and optimize itself to your needs.

Center of Balance

Plain and simple, the Balance Board tracks where the player is applying their body weight through their feet. The primary healthy reason for this is to determine if the player has good posture, which games like Wii Fit Plus can gentle correct through balance exercises. But measuring center of balance also means that players can play games on the Balance Board, lifting their feet and shifting their body weight to play mini games that will improve balance, cardiovascular activity, and muscle tone.


Some Common Questions

Q: Is there a maximum weight limit for the Balance Board?

A: According to Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto, the Balance Board can accurately measure up to 330 pounds, although the board can physically support individuals who weigh around 600 pounds.2

Q: How long do the batteries last?

A: The batteries will last around 60 hours under proper conditions. The Balance Board can also accept a rechargeable battery pack.

Q: Can I use multiple Balance Boards at once?

A: Only one Balance Board may be connected to a Wii console at a time, but some fitness games still allow a multiplayer experience by having players take turns at a particular activity.


1 http://www.wiibalanceboardgames.com/page/Wii-Balance-Board-FAQs.aspx
2 http://web.archive.org/web/20080804131605/http://gameinformer.com/News/Story/200804/N08.0418.1027.13629.htm?Page=2