Virtual coach helps Parkinson's patients stick with exercise

New research from Terry Ellis, assistant professor at Sargent College and Director of the Center for Neurorehabilitation, has found that a virtual exercise coach was effective in helping individuals with Parkinson's disease adhere to a daily walking regimen.

Twenty subjects with Parkinson's disease were instructed to interact with a virtual exercise coach, named "Tanya," on a tablet computer for five minutes, wear a pedometer and walk daily for one month. Retention rate, satisfaction, and virtual coach interaction history were assessed, and six-minute walk and gait speed were evaluated at baseline and after the intervention.

At the end of the month there was a 100 percent retention rate among participants and the average walking distance improved from 1,508 feet to 1,588 feet. Gait speed improved from 3.9 to 4.1 feet per second and maximum gait speed increased from 5.5 feet to 5.8 feet per second.

This video is not supported by your browser at this time.
Ellis discuss her research on the benefits of exercise for people with Parkinson’s disease.

According to the research, virtual coaches have the ability to build social and and can help promote healthy behavioral changes in people with .

The study appears in the June issue of the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. Listen to Prof.

More information: journals.lww.com/ajpmr/Abstrac… ch_to_Promote.2.aspx

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Walking speed associated with survival in older adults

Jan 04, 2011

In an analysis that included data from 9 studies, having higher measures of walking speed among older adults was associated with increased length of survival, according to a study in the January 5 issue of JAMA.

Recommended for you

Weight and eating habits in Parkinson's disease

Nov 20, 2014

Patients affected by Parkinson's disease often show marked changes in body weight: they may gain or lose a lot of weight depending on the stage of the disease, or they may put on up to ten kilos after deep brain stimulation ...

Scientists create Parkinson's disease in a dish

Nov 06, 2014

A team of scientists led by The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute successfully created a human stem cell disease model of Parkinson's disease in a dish. Studying a pair of identical ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.