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The Effects of Nintendo Wii FIT on Balance of Elderly Adults

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Author: Bomberger, Stephanie Allene
Advisor: McCoy, Raymond W.
Committee Members: Harris, M. Brennan; Kohl, Robert M.; Coleman, Randolph A.
Issued Date: 2010-05-14
Subjects: Biomechanics
Nintendo Wii FIT
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10288/2018
Description: Human balance ability declines with age and falls due to balance deficiencies cause significant health problems. Nintendo Wii FIT was introduced as a possible alternative to traditional balance training regimens. To determine the changes Wii FIT causes in balance ability, eight healthy normal elders (age = 79-93) with no balance concerns and six healthy elders (age = 80-91) with mild to moderate balance concerns volunteered to be participants in this study. Balance ability was determined prior to and following a 12- or 18-session training regimen using gait mechanics analysis, functional balance assessment, and center of pressure movement analysis. The gait mechanics analysis revealed significant changes in stride rate and walking velocity for the normal elderly group, and in step width for the group with mild/moderate balance concerns. The average movement of the center of pressure during a 10 s standing test did not change significantly between the pre- and post-test for either group. The functional balance assessments used were the Berg Balance Scale and Tinetti Test. Each assessment recorded significant changes from pre- to post test for each of the groups. These results show a slight increase in balance ability. It is possible that the generally insignificant findings are the result of the inability of the tests used to properly assess the balance mechanisms trained with Wii FIT. In conclusion, 12- and 18-session training programs showed only slight differences in the balance ability of elderly adults with and without balance concerns. Supported by the Borgenicht Program for Aging Studies and Exercise Science
Degree: Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology

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