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Video Games Boost Seniors’ Health

Wednesday, 25 Apr 2012 11:35 AM




Attention gamers: You might want to move over to make room for grandma and grandpa at that Xbox console. New research has found video games have significant benefits for older people by providing mental stimulation, social interaction, fun and even some mild exercise.
Two studies published in the new peer-reviewed publication Games for Health Journal found video technology can be a valuable tool for helping people of all ages improve their health and lead fuller, more independent lives for a longer time.
"The elderly often forsake their lifelong activities in exchange for the safety, security, and care of institutional living," said Editor-in-Chief Bill Ferguson. "This trade-off need not require the sacrifice of physical activity and fitness. Furthermore, video games offer an escape from routine. All of these benefits can improve the well-being of elderly adults."
One of the new studies found interactive digital games help motivate seniors, including those with chronic health conditions, to take better care of themselves. The report – produced by researchers from the German Sport University in Cologne and the Neuroscience Research facility in Australia – suggests using video game technology in the rehabilitation and training of older adults offers “a good alternative to traditional forms of aerobic exercise.”
A second study, led by the Matia Gerontological Institute Foundation in Spain, examined features of video games that most appeal to older adults. Among them: the social aspect of the experience; the challenge; the combination of cognitive and physical activity; and the ability to gain specific skills as a result of gaming.
The editors of Games for Health Journal said the publication aims to provide a forum for academic and clinical researchers, game designers and developers, health care providers, insurers and information technology leaders. Articles will explore the use of game technology in clinical applications in disease prevention and health promotion -- including nutrition, weight management, medication adherence, diabetes monitoring, post-traumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer's, and cognitive, mental, emotional and behavioral health.

© HealthDay

 
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Video games provide mental stimulation, social interaction and even some mild exercise for older players.
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Wednesday, 25 Apr 2012 11:35 AM
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