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Technol Health Care. 2019;27(4):353-362. doi: 10.3233/THC-191634.

Physiological responses and enjoyment of Kinect-based exergames in older adults at risk for falls: A feasibility study.

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Department of Exercise and Health Sciences, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA 02125, USA.
Department of Computer Science, College of Science and Mathematics, University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, MA 02125, USA.



Exergaming has the potential to improve physical function, cognition and dual-task function, and could be an effective new strategy for reducing risk of falling in older adults.


To evaluate and test custom Microsoft Kinect-based motion-tracking exergames in older adults at risk for falls.


Community-dwelling older adults who reported mobility difficulties or had fallen in the past year played three newly developed exergames (Target Trackers, Double Decision, and Visual Sweeps, 5 minutes each) in random order. Heart rate (HR) was measured during, and blood pressures (BPs), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and rating of the enjoyment were recorded immediately after each exergame.


Seven participants (median age 75 y; 4 females) completed the study. There were no adverse events reported during the exergaming session. Exercise HRs and RPEs were statistically significantly higher than resting for all exergames (p< 0.05). The differences were not significant for BPs. Enjoyment ratings ranged from 79.6-90.6% and there were no statistically significant differences between the exergames.


The newly developed exergames were light in exercise intensity and enjoyable for older adults at risk for falls. Future intervention studies are warranted to examine the benefits of exergames for this special population.


Exergaming; dual-task; older adults


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