Specially developed Wii games can help prevent falls
New research, launched today and funded by the Centre for Ageing Research and Development in Ireland (CARDI), shows that playing video games can help older people improve their balance and make them less likely to fall.
The research was led by Professor Cathy Craig, Queen's University Belfast, partnered by Trinity College Dublin, found that older people's balance and gait was improved by playing specially developed video games using the Nintendo Wii balance board.
Huge personal and social costs of falls
Approximately 300 older people die from falls on the island of Ireland each year and many thousands are injured, often seriously. Suffering a fall can damage an older person's confidence, reduce their mobility and lead to isolation and loneliness. The economic cost of fractures and falls to health and social services is also significant and is estimated to be over €400 million in the Republic of Ireland alone. The costs associated with falls are predicted to increase sharply as the population ages.
Building better balance
Professor Craig says: "Improving balance and gait can play an important role in helping older people avoid falls and injury as well as improving their mobility confidence. The games designed in this project to build better balance were formulated with older people in mind. Older people who played the games enjoyed an improvement in both static and dynamic balance. This approach proved to be a fun way of achieving these benefits in a novel, stimulating and cost-effective manner.
The study tested the games on participants in Dublin and Belfast and found that those who played the games had significantly greater improvements in balance control than those who didn't. The researchers concluded that such improvements in balance could play an important role in reducing the risk of falls in older adults.
Professor Bob Stout, Co-Chair of CARDI, says: "This research highlights an engaging way for older people to improve their balance and mobility, helping them to avoid falls and serious injury. This brings great personal benefits for older people and financial gains for society as a whole."
Falls- Key Facts
- Older people make up 70% of all deaths from falls in the Republic of Ireland (RoI) and Northern Ireland (NI) and those over 80 years and older women are particularly vulnerable.
- In RoI, an official report projected an increased number of falls among people aged 65+ from 148,000 to 320,000 and a rise in the annual treatment cost from €400 million to €2 billion between 2006 and 2031 in the absence of a strategic approach to the problem (HSE, NCAOP and DoHC, 2008).
- In an acute hospital in RoI, fall-related admissions in one year resulted in 8,300 acute bed days and 6,220 rehabilitation bed days, costing €10.3 million (Cotter et al, 2006).
- In Northern Ireland, the death rate from home accidents rose from 4.6 deaths per 100,000 in 2003 to 6.4 in 2009, despite a target to reduce it to 3.9 (DHSSPS, 2011).
Provided by CARDI
- Balance and strength training can prevent falls in older people Aug 07, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Broken heart, broken bones: Falls among elderly tied to depression Jun 15, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- New physio guidelines for the elderly at risk of falls Sep 01, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Extension Volunteer Program Helps Older Adults Ease Falling Fears Jul 06, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Dancing their falls away Nov 07, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
People eating at fast food restaurants largely underestimate the calorie content of meals, especially large ones, according to a paper published today in BMJ.
Health 16 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Don't doubt it when a woman harried by hot flashes says she's having a hard time remembering things. A new study published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), helps confirm with o ...
Health 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
The Senate has overwhelmingly rejected an amendment allowing states to require labeling of genetically modified foods.
Health 1 hour ago | not rated yet | 1
(AP)—McDonald's once again faced criticism that it's a purveyor of junk food that markets to children at its annual shareholder meeting Thursday.
Health 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Can economic incentives such as gift cards, T-shirts, and time off from work motivate members of the public to increase their donations of blood?
Health 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Treatment with high potency statins (especially atorvastatin and simvastatin) may increase the risk of developing diabetes, suggests a paper published today in BMJ.
16 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Two out of five medical students have an unconscious bias against obese people, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. The study is published online ahead of print in the Journal of ...
45 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
International efforts to combat a new pneumonia-like virus that has now killed 22 people are being slowed by unclear rules and competition for the potentially profitable rights to disease samples, the head ...
46 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—In patients who have previously been considered difficult to image, dual-source cardiac (DSC) computed tomography (CT) can identify clinically significant coronary artery disease, according ...
26 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Regulating the distribution of power in neurons is done by a system that makes the national electric grid look simple by comparison. Each neuron has several thousand mitochondria confined ...
1 hour ago | 4 / 5 (1) | 0 |
Even while being dragged to its destruction inside a cell, a cancer-promoting growth factor receptor fires away, sending signals that thwart the development of tumor-suppressing microRNAs (miRNAs) before it's dissolved, researchers ...
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |