The effect of the Nintendo Wii Fit and exercise in improving balance and quality of life in community dwelling elders

Boston University, Haskell, NJ, USA.
Technology and health care: official journal of the European Society for Engineering and Medicine (Impact Factor: 0.7). 01/2012; 20(2):95-115. DOI: 10.3233/THC-2011-0661
Source: PubMed


This study compared the effect of Nintendo Wii Fit to the Matter of Balance program, a valid and reliable program, on improving balance, and well-being to decrease the risk of falls.
Residents of an independent living senior housing facility were recruited and thirty-two residents ages 63 to 90 participated. Participants were separated into three groups: (1) Wii Fit group (n=11) completed balance games on the Wii Fit in individual sessions twice a week and supplemental home exercises; (2) Matter of Balance Group (n=11) completed exercises from the Matter of Balance Program in a group setting twice a week; (3) Control group (n=10) received no intervention. Intervention lasted three weeks.
One-way ANOVA's were completed. Scores from the assessments were not statistically significant at post-test Berg Balance Scale (p=0.837); Tinetti Gait and Balance Assessment (p=0.913); SF-36 (p=0.256). Results from a self-report demonstrated that Wii Fit is an enjoyable form of exercise for an elderly population.
Although, the interventions failed to significantly increase balance, with an increase in intervention duration of Wii Fit or Matter of Balance balance may be improved. Although results were not significant this study adds to the growing body of evidence regarding the use of Wii Fit as a rehabilitation tool.

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Available from: Karen Jacobs, May 12, 2015
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    • "This highlights the importance of individualized rehabilitation programing to effectively improve balance (Dos Santos Mendes et al., 2012). Previous exergaming studies have attempted to quantify static and dynamic balance using the Berg balance scale (BBS) (Berg, 1989) and the Timed Up-and-Go test (TUG), for older adults (Agmon et al., 2011; Bateni, 2012; Franco et al., 2012), and for people with IPD (Zettergren et al., 2011; Mhatre et al., 2013). These tests are low-cost, simplistic assessments that are relatively quick to administer and convenient in the clinical setting. "
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    ABSTRACT: The use of virtual reality games (known as “exergaming”) as a neurorehabilitation tool is gaining interest. Therefore, we aim to collate evidence for the effects of exergaming on the balance and postural control of older adults and people with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (IPD). Six electronic databases were searched, from inception to April 2015, to identify relevant studies. Standardized mean differences (SMDs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were used to calculate effect sizes between experimental and control groups. I2 statistics were used to determine levels of heterogeneity. 325 older adults and 56 people with IPD who were assessed across 11 ­studies. The results showed that exergaming improved static balance (SMD 1.069, 95% CI 0.563–1.576), postural control (SMD 0.826, 95% CI 0.481–1.170), and dynamic balance (SMD −0.808, 95% CI −1.192 to −0.424) in healthy older adults. Two IPD studies showed an improvement in static balance (SMD 0.124, 95% CI −0.581 to 0.828) and postural control (SMD 2.576, 95% CI 1.534–3.599). Our findings suggest that exergaming might be an appropriate therapeutic tool for improving balance and postural control in older adults, but more ­large-scale trials are needed to determine if the same is true for people with IPD.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
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    • "A recent review by Goble et al. demonstrated that Wii Fit training is effective for improving overall balance in both healthy and clinical populations [9]. However, a main conclusion of this review was that study results to date have been largely clinical in nature, based on tests such as the Timed Up and Go, Berg Balance Scale, and Tinetti test [10] [11] [12] [13]. Such tests, while popular, lack information regarding the specific mechanisms underlying balance control. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Nintendo Wii Fit is a balance training tool that is growing in popularity due to its ease of access and cost-effectiveness. While considerable evidence now exists demonstrating the efficacy of the Wii Fit, no study to date has determined the specific mechanism underlying Wii Fit balance improvement. This paucity of knowledge was addressed in the present study using the NeuroCom Balance Manager's Sensory Organization Test (SOT) and Limits of Stability (LOS) test. These well-recognized posturography assessments, respectively, measure sensory weighting and dynamic stability mechanisms of balance. Forty healthy, young participants were recruited into two groups: Wii Fit Balance Intervention (WFBI) (n=20) and Control (CON) (n=20). Balance training consisted of seven Wii Fit exer-games played over the course of six consecutive weeks (2-4×/week, 30-45min/day). The WFBI group performed Neurocom testing before and after the intervention, while the CON group was tested along a similar timeline with no intervention. Mixed-design ANOVAs found significant interactions for testing time point and condition 5 of the SOT (p<0.02), endpoint excursion (p<0.01), movement velocity (p<0.02), and response time (p<0.01). These effects were such that greater improvements were seen for the WFBI group following Wii Fit training. These findings suggest that individuals with known issues regarding the processing of multiple sources of sensory information and/or who have limited functional bases of support may benefit most from Wii Fit balance training. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Gait & Posture
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    • "However, capabilities of WBB (in conjunction with Wii Fit or custom written application) to improve the balance ability were largely investigated. These studies showed that Wii Fit intervention is moderately effective on healthy older adults (Franco et al., 2012; Toulotte et al., 2012). Modest results were obtained too in rehabilitating patients affected by multiple sclerosis through a selection of Wii Fit activities (Nilsagard et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Standing balance tests represent the most common way to assess person's functional ability and they were realized by means of specialized and expensive platforms, especially in clinicians’ environments. Wii Balance Board (WBB) is video-game based device that measures center of pressure (CoP) oscillations and it showed promising performance compared with ‘gold standard’ force platforms. In this paper we propose an open integrated custom application to define balance outcomes using WBB. These outcomes were used to execute a validity analysis of WBB performance compared with baropodometer platform (BP). Ten subjects performed two standing balance tests with open and closed eyes respectively on WBB and BP in separate occasion. Validity analysis was carried out using r-Pearson correlation coefficient, ICC analysis, paired-sample t-Test and Bland-Altman plots. Results confirmed that the WBB, although has a fraction of cost of other platforms, represents a tool suitable for some clinician analysis
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014
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