Effect of Wii Fit Intervention on Balance in Older Women

Project: Research project

Project Details


Effect of Wii Fit Intervention on Balance in Older Women Effect of Wii Fit Intervention on Balance in Older Women Falling can have serious, if not fatal, consequences in those who have weak bones. While many exercise programs and interventions currently exist with the goal to improve balance and decrease fall risk, many of them are hospital/clinic-based, and typically target geriatric populations. However, fall risk can also be of concern among middle-aged, peri-menopausal women who often experience accelerated bone loss associated with aging. Fall risk is a multi-faceted problem, but one suggested technique for preventing falls is to improve whole body balance. The Wii Fit interactive game includes many exercises or training methods that are typically included in traditional rehabilitation or therapy based balance and muscular endurance improvement programs. However, the Wii Fit system allows the participant to practice controlling their center of pressure while using a fun, gaming type interactive approach which makes completing exercise training goals appealing. Currently, little evidence exists regarding the efficacy of the Wii Fit as a means to improve balance especially in a middle-aged, non-clinical population. The purpose of this study is to evaluate changes in balance and muscular endurance in middle aged women with low bone mass randomly assigned to a 12- week home-based exercise intervention incorporating the Wii Fit balance game as compared to a usual care group. Specific Aim: To determine if interactive play using the Wii Fit game system over a 12-week study period improves balance and muscular endurance compared to a randomly assigned control group. Balance will be assessed using the FICSIT-4 and Berg Balance Tests. Strength and endurance of the knee flexors and extensor muscle groups will be assessed with an isokinetic dynamometer. A secondary aim is to assess potential increases in bone formation through biochemical analysis of serum osteocalcin and by increases in bone stiffness index as measured by qualitative ultrasound of the Os Calcis. It is hypothesized that participation in an 12 week Wii Fit interactive game intervention program will improve balance, muscular strength and significantly enhance bone formation as compared with normally active controls. Results from this study could provide evidence that interactive game play using Wii Fit, may be an enjoyable and effective way to build bone and enhance balance and strength, thereby helping to prevent falls and reduce the serious consequences from falling in 'at risk' peri-menopausal women.
Effective start/end date7/1/136/30/14


  • American College of Sports Medicine: $5,000.00


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