Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Physical and Psychosocial Effects of Wii Video Game Use among Older Women

International Journal of Emerging Technologies and Society
Vol. 8, No. 2, 2010, pp: 85 – 98

Dennis Wollersheim, Monika Merkes, Nora Shields, Pranee Liamputtong, Lara Wallis,
Fay Reynolds and Lee Koh

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This study investigated the physical and psychosocial effect of exergaming in community
dwelling older adult women. In a pilot study consisting of a six-week baseline period and a
six-week intervention period, participants (N = 11, mean age = 73.5 years, SD = 9.0) played
Nintendo Wii Sports twice weekly. We measured full body movements using accelerometers,
and assessed psychosocial effects through end-of-study focus group meetings. There were
large self-reported psychological effects related to positive changes in self perception. The
game-play deepened social connections within the group and provided a basis for shared
experiences with younger aged family members. Physically, the game-play showed
significantly higher maximum energy expenditure (t = -4.52, p < 0.05) than baseline, but no significant difference in overall energy expenditure. Findings from the quantitative data showed that Wii-play did not have substantial physical effects; nevertheless, qualitative data revealed that the participants perceived an improved sense of physical, social and psychological wellbeing.

Keywords: Wii – Older Women – Psychosocial Benefit – Australia – Exercise – Exergames

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