To determine the effectiveness of unsupervised Nintendo Wii Fit balance training in older adults.
Forty-one older adults were recruited from local retirement villages and educational settings to participate in a six-week two-group repeated measures study. The Wii group (n = 19, 75 ± 6 years) undertook 30 min of unsupervised Wii balance gaming three times per week in their retirement village while the comparison group (n = 22, 74 ± 5 years) continued with their usual exercise program. Participants’ balance abilities were assessed pre- and postintervention.
The Wii Fit group demonstrated significant improvements (P < .05) in timed up-and-go, left single-leg balance, lateral reach (left and right), and gait speed compared with the comparison group. Reported levels of enjoyment following game play increased during the study.
Six weeks of unsupervised Wii balance training is an effective modality for improving balance in independent older adults.