Friday, 3 August 2012

Assessment of the postural control strategies used to play two Wii Fit™ videogames

Gait Posture. 2012 Jul;36(3):449-53.

A. Michalski, C.M. Glazebrook, A.J. Martin, W.W.N. Wong, A.J.W. Kim, K.D. Moody, N.M. Salbach, B. Steinnagel, J. Andrysek, R. Torres-Moreno, K.F. Zabjek

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The Nintendo Wii Fit™ may provide an affordable alternative to traditional biofeedback or virtual reality systems for retraining or improving motor function in populations with impaired balance. The purpose of this study was to evaluate postural control strategies healthy individuals use to play Wii Fit™ videogames. Sixteen young adults played 10 trials of Ski Slalom and Soccer Heading respectively. Centre of pressure (COP) excursion and three-dimensional movement data were acquired to determine variability in medial–lateral COP sway and shoulder–pelvic movement. While there was no difference in medial–lateral COP variability between games during trial 1, there was a significant difference after 10 trials. COP sway increased (59–75mm) for Soccer Heading while it decreased (67–33mm) for Ski Slalom from trial 1 to trial 10. During Ski Slalom participants demonstrated decreased shoulder and pelvic movement combined with increased pelvic–shoulder coupling. Conversely, participants demonstrated greater initial shoulder tilt when playing Soccer Heading, with no reduction in pelvic rotation and tilt. Participants decreased pelvic and trunk movements when skiing, suggesting a greater contribution of lower extremity control while they primarily used a trunk strategy to play Soccer Heading.

► We evaluated the balance control strategies adopted when participants played the Wii Fit™.
► Distinct strategies emerged with increased experience playing the Soccer Heading and Ski Slalom games. ► With experience centre of pressure variability increased for Soccer Heading and decreased for Ski Slalom games.
► When playing Soccer Heading participants demonstrated greater shoulder tilt.
► When playing Ski Slalom participants demonstrated increased pelvic–shoulder coupling.

Keywords: Balance control, Balance training, Centre of pressure

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