Exergaming in rehabilitation appears to be promising
Joanne Piech and Krzysztof Czernicki performed a literature review, investigating whether exergames employed in rehabilitation significantly reduce the incidence of falls among elderly patients.
Falls become a significant problem in the aging population, with potentially poor outcome, including fear of falling, loss of independence, institutionalization, and eventually death. Fall prevention interventions are crucial to the well-being of the elderly population and are proven effective in reducing the risk of falling.
Exergaming is increasingly being used to motivate the elderly during physiotherapy. Exergaming, as an interactive, entertaining, and engaging form of exercise, may help to overcome traditional exercise barriers for older adults. Exergaming is also increasingly being used during fall prevention interventions. The present literature review was conducted to determine whether exergames significantly reduce the incidence of falls among elderly patients and to assess the impact of exergames on patient’s cognitive functions, quality of life, and enjoyment of exergames.
Twenty-one studies were included in the literature review. The type of exergaming equipment differed per study. In total, 1557 elderly participated in these studies. The participant’s mean age was 76 years, and all participants were examined for the risk of falls.
This review suggests that exergaming in rehabilitation appears to be a promising complement to traditional techniques of physiotherapy to improve specific physical outcomes. Positive effects of exergaming have been found on physical functions (balance, gait pattern, and muscle strength), psychological functions, quality of life, and motivation. However, it is difficult to draw clear conclusions, because of the diversity in types of exergaming equipment and research protocols used among included studies.
About the SilverFit 3D
The SilverFit 3D is an example of exergaming equipment and is designed specifically for use by older people. It offers exergames to train gross motor skills and ADL tasks during rehabilitation sessions or supervised exercise programs. The SilverFit 3D also includes an exercise program specifically for fall prevention.
Piech, J., & Czernicki, K. (2021). Virtual Reality Rehabilitation and Exergames—Physical and Psychological Impact on Fall Prevention among the Elderly—A Literature Review. Applied Sciences, 11(9), 4098.