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Z Gerontol Geriatr. 2010 Aug;43(4):229-34. doi: 10.1007/s00391-010-0124-7.

Use of virtual reality technique for the training of motor control in the elderly. Some theoretical considerations.

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Inst. f. Bewegungswissenschaften u. Sport, Wolfgang-Pauli-Str. 27, 8093 Z├╝rich, Schweiz.


Virtual augmented exercise, an emerging technology that can help to promote physical activity and combine the strengths of indoor and outdoor exercise, has recently been proposed as having the potential to increase exercise behavior in older adults. By creating a strong presence in a virtual, interactive environment, distraction can be taken to greater levels while maintaining the benefits of indoor exercises which may result in a shift from negative to positive thoughts about exercise. Recent findings on young participants show that virtual reality training enhances mood, thus, increasing enjoyment and energy. For older adults virtual, interactive environments can influence postural control and fall events by stimulating the sensory cues that are responsible in maintaining balance and orientation. However, the potential of virtual reality training has yet to be explored for older adults. This manuscript describes the potential of dance pad training protocols in the elderly and reports on the theoretical rationale of combining physical game-like exercises with sensory and cognitive challenges in a virtual environment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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