Nightingale floors
January 2, 2010 7:20 AM   Subscribe

I'd like a Wii Fit, but I have hardwood floors in a second-story apartment. Can the noise be effectively muffled?

The Wii Fit seems like a great choice for my needs, but I just know there would be some kind of acoustic issue for the downstairs neighbors. These are hardwood floors that creak in an otherwise charming fashion when you walk. I can hear my upstairs neighbor's big dog galumphing around -- not that I mind, but it shows me that I would probably make noise with a Wii Fit, DDR or any sort of horseplay on the floor.

I've thought of asking my immediate downstairs neighbors about the noise level; they seem like nice people. But what would they say? If I didn't have the thing yet, they couldn't know if its noise would bother them, and if I'd already bought it and it did bother them, the situation would be awkward all around. I'd be doing it after 8 pm or before 7 am, because that's all the time I would have on weekdays, and that's a hard time to escape noise. Plus, they have a baby.

Is there some kind of muffler to be bought or constructed for the Wii Fit board that would take care of this for certain before I spend the money? Carpet remnants, moving blankets, etc.?
posted by Countess Elena to Home & Garden (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I know several people who have the Wii Fit and don't use it.

I've just heard about My Fitness Coach for the Wii, which takes simple exercise equipment that you already have and fits it into a routine for you rather than making you buy the (noisy) board for the Wii Fit. You can enter in hand weights, a step, activity balls (or nothing at all) and it will work out a customized routine for you. I DO know of at least one person who swears by it rather than the Wii Fit. So there's one solution; don't buy the Wii Fit board at all.

Another option might be purchasing a thicker yoga mat for under the board, to cushion it and muffle some of the sound. Yoga mats have the advantage of being "sticky" so the board would (probably) stay in place.
posted by misha at 7:32 AM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

You don't jump up and down on the wii fit, thats expressly forbidden because you'll break it.

A test of how much noise you would make is to stand infront of your TV and pretend to do a hula hoop with your feet flat on the ground.

They do sell wii fit branded yoga mats. Some spongy rubber pad like this would probably help, and come in handy if you intend to do the "yoga" games, where you might be on your knees behind the wii fit, for example.
posted by fontophilic at 7:33 AM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Carpet remnants, yoga mats, all should work to muffle the noise and the Wii balance board should work just fine on top of these things (there are special casters for the feet for use on carpeting). I've found that the only time I've drawn complaints from the downstairs neighbors was when I was doing the step routines - routines that have you stepping off the balance board - and the running/jogging in place thing.
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 7:33 AM on January 2, 2010

Neoprene gaskets are used by accoustical engineers to dampen sound transmissions from noisy machinery through a building's walls and structural elements.

A thick neoprene mat should eliminate most noise transmission. If the floor still creaks with the mat, you could put a sheet of 3/4 inch plywood on the floor (cut to size of neoprene mat) to spread the load a bit and minimize the creaks, then the neoprene mat atop the plywood.
posted by beagle at 7:34 AM on January 2, 2010

Ignore the "jogging in place" and "step show" minigames, and you'll be fine. Those are the only two that would make much noise, IIRC.
posted by chrisamiller at 7:37 AM on January 2, 2010

As someone who lives in an apartment with wood floors, I say don't get the Wii and join the gym instead.
posted by bunny hugger at 7:47 AM on January 2, 2010

Mats or carpets (as already mentioned) will do the trick. Thank you for considering your downstairs neighbours! If only more people did that (mine had me up at 6:30am this morning).
posted by purephase at 7:48 AM on January 2, 2010

Thanks, guys. I'm more optimistic about it with these things to try.
posted by Countess Elena at 7:58 AM on January 2, 2010

I agree with chrisamiller; it's mainly the "jogging in place" and "stepping" exercises that may create some noise. Yoga mats or jigsaw floor mats will probably reduce the noise.

(I bought the Wii Fit - and EA Sports Active - as a gift for my parents. Both are good, but EA Sports Active has the advantage of setting up an exercise program ("30 day challenge" and/or "6 week challenge" if you get the additional "EA Sports Active More Workouts"), not just individual "games" that you must choose one by one during your exercise.)
posted by iviken at 8:44 AM on January 2, 2010 [1 favorite]

Just seconding that EA Sports Active may be a better choice. We bought Wii Fit day one and stopped using it week two. EA Sports Active is a regular routine for us, though.
posted by InsanePenguin at 10:36 AM on January 2, 2010

3rding EA Sports Active - much more of a workout than Wii Fit, which had too many pauses in the action for me.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 1:41 PM on January 2, 2010

And 4thing the EA Sports Active, which I started working out with yesterday. Kick-butt routines.
posted by misha at 11:26 AM on January 6, 2010

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