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Games Health J. 2018 Oct;7(5):341-346. doi: 10.1089/g4h.2017.0079.

Effects of an Exergame Software for Older Adults on Fitness, Activities of Daily Living Performance, and Quality of Life.

Author information

1 School of Health Professions, Institute Occupational Therapy, Research and Development OT, Zurich University of Applied Sciences , Winterthur, Switzerland .
2 Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia, Universitat Politècnica de València , València, Spain .



As people become older, the biological process of aging leads to a decline in functional capabilities, which entails difficulties in the performance of daily tasks. Within the "Active and Assisted Living Joint Programme" a consortium from Spain, Germany, and Switzerland developed an interactive Exergame software for older adults to maintain their physical abilities and independence within the daily tasks.


An interventional study was conducted to validate the software. For 3 months, Swiss and Spanish seniors used the system at least three times a week for minimum half an hour in their homes. The physical condition in terms of maintaining or increasing strength, balance, safety, and mobility of the seniors was assessed by using the Berg Balance Scale and the Senior Fitness Test. In addition, the effect on independence within the activities of daily living was assessed by using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure, the Performance Quality Rating Scale, and the Iconographical Falls Efficacy Scale. We used the EQ 5D to evaluate the "quality of life."


Twenty-nine participants (male; n = 14; female; n = 15) completed the study. Scores of endurance (2 minutes step test; P = 0.01, η2 = 0.3) increased significantly. Moderate effect sizes in quality of life (r = 0.3), lower body strength (η2 = 0.08), and large effect sizes in endurance (η2 = 0.3) were detected. A small effect was evaluated within the gait speed (r = 0.2), mobility in the lower body (r = 0.2), and the balance capabilities (r = 0.2).


The results of this study lead us to the conclusion that physical training with activity-focused exergames that are related to the everyday tasks of older adults could help to maintain and improve the individual fitness status.


Daily living performance; Endurance; Fitness; Older adults; Quality of life

[Available on 2019-10-01]

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