Exergaming for elderly: effects of different types of game feedback on performance of a balance task

Claudine J C Lamoth, Rolinde Alingh, Simone R Caljouw
Studies in Health Technology and Informatics 2012, 181: 103-7
Balance training to improve postural control in elderly can contribute to the prevention of falls. Video games that require body movements have the potential to improve balance. However, research about the effects of type of visual feedback (i.e. the exergame) on the quality of movement and experienced workout intensity is scarce. In this study twelve healthy older and younger subjects performed anterior-posterior or mediolateral oscillations on a wobble board, in three conditions: no feedback, real-time visual feedback, and real-time visual feedback with a competitive game element. The Elderly moved slower, less accurately and more irregularly than younger people. Both feedback conditions ensured a more controlled movement technique on the wobble-board and increased experienced workout intensity. The participants enjoyed the attention demanding competitive game element, but this game did not improve balance performance more than interacting with a game that incorporated visual feedback. These results show the potential of exergames with visual feedback to enhance postural control.

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