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Wii Sports For Seniors Combines Fun And Health!

 

 

Historically, videogames have not been associated with health. Gaming is typically seen as a distraction for young people that does not offer any real-world benefits. In the past decade, however, this cultural perception has begun to change. Without a doubt, there are still a lot of young people distracting themselves for days and weeks with World of Warcraft and harmless but addictive games like Fortnite. However, there is also a growing trend founded in the notion of adapting videogames to serve specific health purposes.

This shift initially arose with the advent of the Nintendo Wii, which utilizes sophisticated motion-sensor technology to enhance sports games like bowling, tennis and golf. When the Wii first came out, group videogames became a widely embraced family-friendly tradition, as almost anyone can enjoy virtual tennis or bowling. The further development of a balance board opened up the possibilities for skiing, snowboarding, dance and fitness games by sensing the players’ balance and lower body movements.

Wii Sports for Seniors

While ‘fun for the whole family’ is great, some games on the Wii also happen to provide easy access to light physiotherapy and a means of improving balance and cognition. McMaster University’s Institute for Research on Aging found that playing ‘exergames’ on the Wii system gives older adults more confidence and improves balance and mobility. Interactive games can be used as a preventative measure against falls, and also as an independent form of rehabilitation therapy. In short, exergames are fun and healthy, foster social gatherings and improve mood – essential fodder for Activities of Daily Living.

Exergames have become so popular in the world of senior care that almost any high-quality retirement residence will have a Nintendo Wii on-site and organize weekly opportunities for people to come together to compete, laugh and exercise. If you or a loved one is on the hunt for new senior housing options, inquire with prospective residences about exergames, as well as the residence’s dedication to providing regular group exercise programming, such as aquafit and chair yoga. After all, a variety of exercise options is crucial to maintaining strength and a good quality of life.

Applications for Exergames

A Fun Alternative for Maintaining Strength and Health – Many retirement residences offer a variety of low-impact group classes that improve strength and flexibility, but few can boast the rush of skiing down a mountain or sinking a golf ball with an epic chip. Exergames offer a fun option to supplement a regular workout routine and the incentive of a dopamine rush for those who simply would not exercise otherwise.

Balance – With the use of the balance board, seniors can spend hours enjoying interactive, competitive games while steeling themselves against the danger of a debilitating fall.

Independence and Social Factors – Rather than having someone lead a class, seniors can organize a Wii session themselves and spend a delightful afternoon sparring on the digital tennis court.

Rehabilitation – Physiotherapy is not always fun, but videogames are. The Institute for Research on Aging is actually designing programs where users can make music and paint digital pictures with certain movements designed to strengthen muscles and improve cognition. Wii sports may just be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to uncovering the benefits of interactive videogames!

Wii Sports for Seniors

Sometimes the rapid development of technology can seem overwhelming and frightening. Fortunately, there are also developments like exergames, which bolster community and family life and promote health and brainpower!

  

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