Gerontological Society Study – Technology and Exercise

We all know that fitness video games have been proven to help with the physical benefits on aging in a variety of ways. It helps to prevent falls, improve balance and strength.  As the article states “There’s no denying the physical benefits of motion gaming: studies have shown that even just a few sessions with the Wii has led to improved balance, coordination and strength, and could help prevent falls, a serious concern for many seniors. Wii Bowling has spawned entire leagues and tournaments, taking over nursery homes, retirement communities and community centers as one of the fastest-growing and most popular social activities.”  The study created by Dr. Kahlbaugh studied 36 individuals. The seniors were broken into two groups. One group played Wii weekly and the other watched an hour of TV. Those that played Wii showed a great positive mood, decreased loneliness and felt more connected to others. The article says “As some adults get older, they may no longer have the physical strength or agility to engage in their chosen pleasures of life. For some, the sense of loss can deepen into depression. By recreating the experience of previously enjoyed activities like tennis, bowling, and golf, Kahlbaugh says the Nintendo Wii may allow elderly individuals to engage in these previously enjoyed activities, allowing them to “regain the psychological benefits such activities once afforded them.” How do some of you incorporate technology with your senior population?