Video games encourage older adults to remain active

By  , Agency News
Dec 13, 2016

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Quick Bites

  • Researchers measured physical activity before and after a gaming program.
  • 8-week program had strength-building video games, like tennis or bowling.
  • By the end, 52 percent of inactive adults had increased their activity levels.

Playing video games can help old adults longer but also healthy and active. A research has observed that video games can be used to promote fitness and encouraging older adults to get active. It was found that the means can help people live longer.


video game


An associate professor of human development and family studies and director of the gerontology program, Jennifer Margrett, said that their program is focused on whole-person wellness and they want to include that socialisation aspect with the physical activity. She said that by socialising and doing interactive games, older adults are also exercising their brains, building relationships, and so it helps in more than one way.


[Read: A Video Game Claims to Fight Depression]


A team of high school and college-age trainers led the eight-week exer-gaming program that had strength-building exercises with video games, like tennis or bowling. The subjects were taught who may be intimidated by the technology, how to use the gaming systems so they can continue with the program after the initial eight weeks.


[Read: Play newly developed 3-D video game to increase cognitive perfomance]


Researchers measured physical activity levels before and after the eight-week fitness program. Half of the participants (all 60 years of age or older) described themselves as inactive at the start of the program. By the end of the program, 52 percent of those inactive adults had increased their activity levels.

The study is published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.



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