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Engaging older adults in technology to improve balance


Bird, ML and Millar, J and Clark, BD and Whetton, SG and Smith, SA, Engaging older adults in technology to improve balance, 6th Biennial Australian and New Zealand Falls Prevention Conference, 16-18 November, 2014, Sydney Australia (2014) [Conference Extract]

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Background: Enjoyment is a powerful predictor of adherence to physical activity and this may be used to improve Rarticipation in physical activities and subsequently improve a range of health parameters. Technology, in the form of 'exergaming' has potential, but perceptions of use and engagement of older adults with a range of technologies is unclear. This study aims to determine the perceptions of use of technology to improve health outcomes prior to and after using an exergame. A secondary aim was to determine if there were concurrent improvements in postural balance by participating in the intervention.

Method: Twenty-four participants aged between 55 and 82 years (mean age 70  6 years) volunteered to participate in focus groups to determine perceptions of use of technology to assist with physical activity. This allowed development of a targeted 5 question survey by the research team. This survey was administered pre- and post a 5 week exergame intervention. Media-lateral sway range (eyes open and closed on a force platform) were also assessed pre and post intervention. Perceived enjoyment and game scores were recorded during the intervention. Pre-post scores were analysed using students test. A balance training exergame was chosen as the intervention.

Results: Significant increased awareness that exergames can assist with physical activity were recorded (all p > 0.05). High levels of enjoyment, participation in the intervention and increasing game scores over the duration of the intervention were recorded. Trends for improvement in eyes closed media-lateral sway range were recorded (improved by 1.0cm, p = 0.09).

Item Details

Item Type:Conference Extract
Keywords:exercise balance older
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Allied health and rehabilitation science
Research Field:Physiotherapy
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Provision of health and support services
Objective Field:Allied health therapies (excl. mental health services)
UTAS Author:Bird, ML (Dr Marie-Louise Bird)
UTAS Author:Millar, J (Miss Jo Millar)
UTAS Author:Clark, BD (Mr Benjamin Donald Clark)
UTAS Author:Whetton, SG (Dr Sue Whetton)
UTAS Author:Smith, SA (Miss Sarah Smith)
ID Code:96891
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:Health Sciences A
Deposited On:2014-11-25
Last Modified:2015-06-03
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