We ran tests of Just Dance 3 Wii with our Polar Heart Strap and monitor set. Just how many calories do you burn for dancing a single song?
We ran three runs of each of our four test songs. I am 135 pounds; Bob is 250 pounds. I did most of the dancing and then Bob came in for two comparisons. I did three warm-up songs before heading into our tests. Here is what we found.
I began with Jamaican Dance, as that is the most energetic song of my favorite set. The song runs 3:57 (237 seconds). The four runs were:
Lisa - 484sw - 134 avg heart - 151 max heart (32 cal) = 15 sw/cal
Lisa - 486sw - 135 avg heart - 144 max heart (33 cal) = 15 sw/cal
Lisa - 477sw - 138 avg heart (34 cal) = 14 sw/cal
Bob - 382sw - 90 avg heart - 96 max heart (16 cal) = 24 sw/cal
This averages out - for me - to losing 8.4 calories per minute of dancing.
The note here is that I do the dance fully - I do all the foot movements and am energetic. Bob just did the hand movements - so far lower heart rate. This gives a good sense of how the game can give different readings depending on how fully you invest yourself in playing.
Next came Jump, a song that seems just as energetic - but ends up with impressively less sweat points. It's also shorter - only 3:04 (184 seconds). Bob didn't do this one.
Lisa - 275sw - 130 avg heart (24 cal) = 11 sw/cal
Lisa - 286sw - 129 avg heart (24 cal) = 12 sw/cal
Lisa - 295sw - 130 avg heart (24 cal) = 12 sw/cal
Fairly consistent here :) So that's 7.8 calories burned per minute.
I dance Jump just as enthusiastically as I dance Jamaican Dance, with full body motion. Even so, it's clear that the shorter length and slightly less heart rate matters..
Think is in between Jump and Jamaican Dance in terms of length. It's 3:23 (203 seconds). Bob didn't do this one.
Lisa - 247sw - 129 avg heart (26 cal) = 10 sw/cal
Lisa - 243sw - 126 avg heart (25 cal) = 10 sw/cal
Lisa - 254sw - 130 avg heart (26 cal) = 10 sw/cal
Again, nice and consistent. That's 7.7 calories burned per minute.
Think is fun, but it's not as energetic as the first two. You can see in the sweat points per calorie, that it does matter. Again, I do every move with arms and legs as shown.
This is a download song I love. It seems fairly energetic - but it's also fairly short. It's only 2:35 (155 seconds). Bob did a run of this one.
Lisa - 222sw - 119 avg heart (17 cal) = 13 sw/cal
Lisa - 217sw - 115 avg heart (15 cal) = 14 sw/cal
Lisa - 240sw - 131 avg heart (20 cal) = 12 sw/cal
Bob - 190sw - 101 avg heart (15 cal) = 8.6 sw/cal
For mine, a bit of a range depending on how much I really dove into the dancing. This is 6.6 calories burned per minute.
To summarize, there's definitely a difference in a raw sweat point = calorie calculation depending on how much energy you put into a song. The controller can only sense your single hand movement. If you wildly wave that one hand around, the game could think you're very active - but in reality you could be fairly stationary.
It's well worth it to invest yourself into dancing each song fully, doing all the body movements, and being energetic. By doing that, you get the most bang for the buck - the most calories burned for the sweat points reported.