Physical and Psychosocial Function in Residential Aged-Care Elders: Effect of Nintendo Wii Sports Games

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity

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Justin W.L. Keogh
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Nicola Power
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Leslie Wooller
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Patricia Lucas
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Chris Whatman
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This mixed-methods, quasi-experimental pilot study examined whether the Nintendo Wii Sports (NWS) active video game (exergame) system could significantly improve the functional ability, physical activity levels, and quality of life of 34 older adults (4 men and 30 women, 83 ± 8 yr) living in 2 residential aged-care (RAC) centers. Change score analyses indicated the intervention group had significantly greater increases in bicep curl muscular endurance, physical activity levels, and psychological quality of life than the control group (p < .05). Analysis of the quotes underlying the 3 themes (feeling silly, feeling good; having fun; and something to look forward to) suggested that intervention group participants developed a sense of empowerment and achievement after some initial reluctance and anxiousness. They felt that the games were fun and provided an avenue for greater socialization. These results add some further support to the utilization of NWS exergames in the RAC context.

Keogh is with the Faculty of Health Sciences and Medicine, Bond University, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. Power, Wooller, and Lucas are with the Human Potential Centre, Auckland University of Technology, Aukland, New Zealand. Whatman is with the Sports Performance Research Inst. New Zealand, Aukland University of Technology, Aukland, New Zealand.

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