Does playing Wii and video games help older adults?

Anthony Cirillo
Geriatric Medicine
Studies show that video games that encourage physical activity can help the elderly feel less depressed and feel a sense of place and relevancy. Playing games on a TV or Wii system can also make an elderly person less likely to fall.

 A study from Southern Connecticut State University showed that for seniors, even just a few sessions with the Wii led to improved balance, coordination, and strength, and could help prevent falls among elders. The University of California, San Diego School of Medicine conducted a study on seniors with depression. More than one-third of participants who played Wii games reported a 50% or greater reduction of depressive symptoms. And by recreating the experience of sports they once enjoyed, researchers say, elderly people can experience the feelings and emotions they had when they were younger and more able-bodied.

Further research has shown that these games may even help bridge generational divides.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.