Tuesday, 20 December 2011

A Pilot Study of Wii Fit Exergames to Improve Balance in Older Adults

Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy:
October/December 2011 - Volume 34 - Issue 4 - p 161–167
Agmon, Maayan PT, PhD, MA, BA; Perry, Cynthia K. PhD, ARNP; Phelan, Elizabeth MD, MS; Demiris, George PhD; Nguyen, Huong Q. PhD

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Purpose: To determine the safety and feasibility of using Nintendo Wii Fit exergames to improve balance in older adults.

Methods: Seven older adults aged 84 (5) years with impaired balance (Berg Balance Scale [BBS] score < 52 points) were recruited from 4 continuing care retirement communities to participate in a single group pre- and postevaluation of Wii Fit exergames. Participants received individualized instructions (at least 5 home visits) on playing 4 exergames (basic step, soccer heading, ski slalom, and table tilt) and were asked to play these games in their homes at least 30 minutes 3 times per week for 3 months and received weekly telephone follow-up. They also completed a paper log of their exergame play and rated their enjoyment immediately after each session. Participants completed the BBS, 4-Meter Timed Walk test, and the Physical Activity Enjoyment Scale at baseline and 3 months. Semistructured interviews were conducted at the 3-month evaluation.

Results: Participants safely and independently played a mean of 50 sessions, median session duration of 31 minutes. Two of the games were modified to ensure participants' safety. Participants rated high enjoyment immediately after exergame play and expressed experiencing improved balance with daily activities and desire to play exergames with their grandchildren. Berg Balance Scores increased from 49 (2.1) to 53 (1.8) points (P = .017). Walking speed increased from 1.04 (0.2) to 1.33 (0.84) m/s (P = .018).

Conclusions: Use of Wii Fit for limited supervised balance training in the home was safe and feasible for a selected sample of older adults. Further research is needed to determine clinical efficacy in a larger, diverse sample and ascertain whether Wii Fit exergames can be integrated into physical therapy practice to promote health in older adults.

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Monday, 19 December 2011

Assisting people with disabilities to actively improve their collaborative physical activities with Nintendo Wii Balance Boards by controlling environmental stimulation.

Research in Developmental Disabilities, Volume 33, Issue 1, January-February 2012, Pages 39-44
Ching-Hsiang Shih, Chia-Ju Shih and Ching-Tien Shih

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Highlights ► Commercial high-technology products can be used as high performance assistive devices. ► The Nintendo Wii Balance Board can be used as a high performance standing location detector. ► Four people (two groups) with developmental disabilities can control environmental stimulation through the Wii Balance Board by performing collaborative physical activities.

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Sunday, 18 December 2011

The energy expenditure of an activity-promoting video game compared to sedentary video games and TV watching

Journal of Pediatric Endocrinology and Metabolism. Volume 24, Issue 9-10, Pages 689–695
Naim Mitre, Randal C. Foster, Lorraine Lanningham-Foster & James A. Levine

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Background: In the present study we investigated the effect of television watching and the use of activity-promoting video games on energy expenditure in obese and lean children.

Methods: Energy expenditure and physical activity were measured while participants were watching television, playing a video game on a traditional sedentary video game console, and while playing the same video game on an activity-promoting video game console.

Results: Energy expenditure was significantly greater than television watching and playing video games on a sedentary video game console when children played the video game on the activity-promoting console. When examining movement with accelerometry, children moved significantly more when playing the video game on the Nintendo Wii console.

Conclusion: Activity-promoting video games have shown to increase movement, and be an important tool to raise energy expenditure by 50% when compared to sedentary activities of daily living.

Keywords children, energy expenditure, obesity, physical activity, television, video-games

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Saturday, 17 December 2011

Wii Your Health: A Low-Cost Wireless System for Home Rehabilitation after Stroke using Wii Remotes with its Expansions and Blender

Emmanuel Tsekleves, Dionysios Skordoulis, Ioannis Paraskevopoulos, and Cherry Kilbride
Biomedical Engineering 2011, February 16-18 2010 Innsbruck, Austria. ACTA Press

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Full body motion capture via the Wiimote and the new Wii MotionPlus sensor has yet to be investigated or developed. In addition, the mapping of the Wiimote-captured motion data to a computer generated 3D model inside an open source professional 3D animation tool has yet to be attempted. Within this paper the authors initiate a new study into full markerless human body motion tracking for physical rehabilitation. In particular, it includes the investigation and development of the first phase of a system that is able to capture full human body motion data by a set-up of several Wiimotes placed on different human body segments. This will allow the development of an affordable store and forward treatment option that would enable and motivate physical rehabilitation patients and in particular stroke patients, to conduct physical therapy from home. Finally, by extending a professional 3D animation software tool (Blender), motion data captured through the new system can be mapped onto a virtual 3-D human model in real time, thereby making it possible to have a strong correlation between the physical human and a virtual character to enhance the clinical utility of this innovative technology.

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Friday, 16 December 2011

Improving Lower Limb Weight Distribution Asymmetry During the Squat Using Nintendo Wii Balance Boards and Real-Time Feedback.

McGough, R, Paterson, K, Bradshaw, EJ, Bryant, AL, and Clark, RA.
Improving lower limb weight distribution asymmetry during the squat using Nintendo WII balance boards and real-time feedback. J Strength Cond Res 26(1): 47-52, 2012-
McGough R, Paterson K, Bradshaw EJ, Bryant AL, Clark RA.

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Weight-bearing asymmetry (WBA) may be detrimental to performance and could increase the risk of injury; however, detecting and reducing it is difficult in a field setting. This study assessed whether a portable and simple-to-use system designed with multiple Nintendo Wii Balance Boards (NWBBs) and customized software can be used to evaluate and improve WBA. Fifteen elite Australian Rules Footballers and 32 age-matched, untrained participants were tested for measures of WBA while squatting. The NWBB and customized software provided real-time visual feedback of WBA during half of the trials. Outcome measures included the mean mass difference (MMD) between limbs, interlimb symmetry index (SI), and percentage of time spent favoring a single limb (TFSL). Significant reductions in MMD (p = 0.028) and SI (p = 0.007) with visual feedback were observed for the entire group data. Subgroup analysis revealed significant reductions in MMD (p = 0.047) and SI (p = 0.026) with visual feedback in the untrained sample; however, the reductions in the trained sample were nonsignificant. The trained group showed significantly less WBA for TFSL under both visual conditions (no feedback: p = 0.015, feedback: p = 0.017). Correlation analysis revealed that participants with high levels of WBA had the greatest response to feedback (p < 0.001, ρ = 0.557). In conclusion, WBA exists in healthy untrained adults, and these asymmetries can be reduced using real-time visual feedback provided by an NWBB-based system. Healthy, well-trained professional athletes do not possess the same magnitude of WBA. Inexpensive, portable, and widely available gaming technology may be used to evaluate and improve WBA in clinical and sporting settings.

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