Wii Fit training associated with reduced risk of falling in frail older adults

Exergame training may prevent falling.

Question

What are the effects of Wii Fit balance training on risk of falling in frail older adults?

What was done?

60 participants aged 65 and over were randomly assigned to a Wii Fit group or a conventional exercise group. Physical examination scores and the number of falls were noted before and after the training program.

What was found?

Both Wii Fit and exercise groups demonstrated lower numbers of falls; however, the Wii Fit group showed significantly greater improvement in both reduced numbers of falls and risk of falling.

How does this affect me?

Using Wii Fit balance training may help you avoid injury via falling.

Article Abstract

Objective

To use Nintendo’s Wii Fit balance board to determine the effectiveness of exergaming training in reducing risk and incidence of falls in older adults with a history of falls.
Design

Randomized controlled trial.
Setting

Nursing home for older adults.
Participants

Adults aged 65 years and older (N=60).
Interventions

Participants who lived in a nursing home had 6 weeks of balance training with either Wii Fit equipment or conventional exercise.
Main Outcome Measures

Physiological Profile Assessment scores and incidence of falls were observed with subsequent intention-to-treat statistical analyses.
Results

Physiological Profile Assessment scores and incidence of falls improved significantly in both groups after the intervention (all P<.01), but participants in the Wii Fit training group showed a significantly greater improvement in both outcome measures (P=.004 and P<.001, respectively).
Conclusions

In institutionalized older adults with a history of falls, Wii Fit balance training was more effective than conventional balance training in reducing the risk and incidence of falls.

Link to full article.

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