An exploratory study examining the appropriateness and potential benefit of the nintendo Wii as a physical activity tool in adults aged >= 55 years

Kirk, Alison and MacMillan, Freya and Rice, Mark and Carmichael, Alex (2013) An exploratory study examining the appropriateness and potential benefit of the nintendo Wii as a physical activity tool in adults aged >= 55 years. Interacting with Computers, 25 (1). pp. 102-114. ISSN 0953-5438

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    Abstract

    This study investigates the physical exertion of playing the Nintendo Wii (R) (Wii) and determines the appropriateness and potential benefit of it as a physical activity tool for older adults. Twenty healthy adults (aged 61 +/- 6 years) took part in a single session using a selection of the Wii Sports and Wii Fit games. During the gameplay session, heart rate and perceived exertion were measured. Pre- and post-session, we investigated mood using the Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) and cognitive function (i.e. aptitude, abstract reasoning and problem solving) using the test of non-verbal intelligence (TONI-IQ) and trail B tests. We also gathered subjective feedback from participants using semi-structured interviews and questionnaires. Three of the game activities (hula-hoop, rowing squat and leg extension) were identified to reach a moderate level of heart rate intensity, with one activity (jogging) corresponding to a vigorous level. We identified that post-session PANAS-positive subscale scores were greater than pre-session scores (P < 0.01). There was a reduction in the time to complete the TONI-IQ test from pre- to post-session (P < 0.05). Findings from these data identify that some Wii activities were of an intensity required for health benefits; a single Wii activity session can result in positive mood changes and the Wii interface is generally acceptable and appropriate for this older age adult group. Further randomized controlled and longer term intervention trials are needed to determine the effectiveness of exergame activity programmes.