Challenging Balance in Older Adults Using the Wii Fit Balance Program


Farrell, A., Orsega-Smith, E., Ferguson, J., Plante, K. University of Delaware, Newark, DE

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of a Wii Fit Balance program on older adults’ functional balance and measures of balance perceptions. Methods: Sixteen community dwelling older adults from local senior centers (81% females and 19% males) with an average age of 75 years played Wii Balance games for 30 minutes once a week. Additionally they were given specific balance exercises to complete at home. In the first and last week of the program, the older adults completed pre and post tests. The questionnaires included the following: Satisfaction with Life Scale, Godin Physical Activity Scale, Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale, Falls Self-Efficacy Scale, and the Rating Activities of Daily Living. Functional balance was assessed through the timed up-and-go, chair stands, and the Berg Balance Test. A sub-study was conducted where nine participants were given an accelerometer to wear on their right hip for one week. Results: There was a significant difference pre-post testing in the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale (t= 2.81, pConclusions:The results of this study indicate that the Wii Fit Balance Program improved the older adults’ confidence level when participating in specific balance activities. The study also suggests that there was a positive relationship between the older adults’ perceived balance and their actual balance. However, further research should be conducted to determine if this program can make significant improvements in regards to functional balance.

Research funded by University of Delaware Summer Service Learning 2013.

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