Computer games help prevent falls in elderly

Researchers from Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Manchester have developed a set of three computer games they say can help prevent falls in older adults by encouraging them to perform simple exercises.

Called Exergames, these computer games use Microsoft Kinect sensors to monitor body movements and are programmable by clinicians to fit the physical abilities of each individual.

Game-related activities include squatting, leg lifts and moving objects on a TV or computer screen. The software also records how often the game was played and tracks the player's progression.

"We spoke to a lot of older people and physiotherapists before creating the games, because it was really important that what we produced was easy to use and made keeping fit as fun as possible for the target audience," said Emma Stanmore, PhD, a lecturer in nursing at the University of Manchester in a press release. "Many individuals over the age of 65 haven't played computer games before, but those who have been helping us test the technology have given us very positive feedback."

Topics: Technology & IT