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Concept: Wii Fit


BACKGROUND: Postural control impairments may persist following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. The effect of a secondary task on postural control has, however, not been determined. The purpose of this case-control study was to compare postural control in patients following ACL reconstruction with healthy individuals with and without a secondary task. PARTICIPANTS: 45 patients (30 men and 15 women) participated at least 6 months following primary ACL reconstruction surgery. Participants were individually matched by age, gender and sports activity to healthy controls. MATERIALS: Postural control was measured using a Nintendo Wii Balance Board and customised software during static single-leg stance and with the addition of a secondary task. The secondary task required participants to match the movement of an oscillating marker by adducting and abducting their arm. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Centre of pressure (CoP) path length in both medial-lateral and anterior-posterior directions, and CoP total path length. RESULTS: When compared with the control group, the anterior-posterior path length significantly increased in the ACL reconstruction patients' operated (12.3%, p=0.02) and non-operated limbs (12.8%, p=0.02) for the single-task condition, and the non-operated limb (11.5%, p=0.006) for the secondary task condition. The addition of a secondary task significantly increased CoP path lengths in all measures (p<0.001), although the magnitude of the increase was similar in both the ACL reconstruction and control groups. DISCUSSION: ACL reconstruction patients showed a reduced ability in both limbs to control the movement of the body in the anterior-posterior direction. The secondary task affected postural control by comparable amounts in patients after ACL reconstruction and healthy controls. Devices for the objective measurement of postural control, such as the one used in this study, may help clinicians to more accurately identify patients with deficits who may benefit from targeted neuromuscular training programs.

Concepts: Knee, Anterior cruciate ligament, Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, Cruciate ligament, Wii, Wii Balance Board, Wii Fit, History of video game consoles


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to assess the effect of exercise training using the Nintendo Wii Fit videogame and balance board system on balance and gait in adults with Parkinson Disease (PD). DESIGN: Prospective Interventional Cohort Study. SETTING: Outpatient group exercise class. PARTICIPANTS: 10 subjects with PD, Hoehn and Yahr Stages 2.5 or 3, with a mean age of 67.1 years; 4 men, 6 women. INTERVENTIONS: Subjects participated in supervised group exercise sessions 3 times per week for 8 weeks, practicing three different Wii balance board games (marble tracking, skiing and bubble rafting) adjusted for their individualized function level. Subjects trained for 10 minutes per game, a total of 30 minutes training per session. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Pre-and post-exercise training, a physical therapist evaluated subjects' function using the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Dynamic Gait Index (DGI), and Sharpened Romberg with eyes open and closed. Postural Sway was assessed at rest and with tracking tasks using the Wii balance board. Subjects rated their confidence in balance using the Activities-specific Balance Confidence (ABC) scale and depression on the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). RESULTS: Balance as measured by the BBS improved significantly, with an increase of 3.3 points (p = .016). The DGI improved as well (mean increase 2.8, p = .004), as did postural sway measured with the balance board (decreased variance in stance with eyes open by 31%, p = .049). Though the Sharpened Romberg with eyes closed increased by 6.85 points and with eyes opened by 3.3 points, improvements neared significance only for eyes closed (p = .07 versus p = .188). There were no significant changes on patient ratings for the ABC (mean decrease -1%, p = .922) or the GDS (mean increase 2.2, p = .188). CONCLUSIONS: An 8-week exercise training class using the Wii Fit balance board improved selective measures of balance and gait in adults with PD. However, no significant changes were seen in mood or confidence regarding balance.

Concepts: Wii, Nintendo, Wii Balance Board, Wii Fit, Wii Menu, Wii Play, History of video game consoles, Wii Remote


The aim of this study was to examine differences in the performance of children with probable Developmental Coordination Disorder (p-DCD) and balance problems (BP) and typical developing children (TD) on a Wii Fit task and to measure the effect on balance skills after a Wii Fit intervention. Twenty-eight children with BP and 20 TD-children participated in the study. Motor performance was assessed with the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC2), three subtests of the Bruininks Oseretsky Test (BOT2): Bilateral Coordination, Balance and Running Speed & Agility, and a Wii Fit ski slalom test. The TD children and half of the children in the BP group were tested before and after a 6weeks non-intervention period. All children with BP received 6weeks of Wii Fit intervention (with games other than the ski game) and were tested before and afterwards. Children with BP were less proficient than TD children in playing the Wii Fit ski slalom game. Training with the Wii Fit improved their motor performance. The improvement was significantly larger after intervention than after a period of non-intervention. Therefore the change cannot solely be attributed to spontaneous development or test-retest effect. Nearly all children enjoyed participation during the 6weeks of intervention. Our study shows that Wii Fit intervention is effective and is potentially a method to support treatment of (dynamic) balance control problems in children.

Concepts: Assessment, Wii, Wii Balance Board, Wii Fit, Wii Menu, Shigeru Miyamoto, Wii Play, Slalom skiing


Wii Fit was originally designed as a health and fitness interactive training experience for the general public. There are, however, many examples of Wii Fit being utilized in clinical settings. This article aims to identify the contribution of Wii Fit in the field of health promotion and rehabilitation by: (1) identifying the health-related domains for which the Wii Fit series has been tested, (2) clarifying the effect of Wii Fit in those identified health-related domains and (3) quantifying this effect.

Concepts: Wii, Wii Fit, Shigeru Miyamoto


The Nintendo Wii Fit was released just over five years ago as a means of improving basic fitness and overall well-being. Despite this broad mission, the Wii Fit has generated specific interest in the domain of neurorehabilitation as a biobehavioral measurement and training device for balance ability. Growing interest in Wii Fit technology is likely due to the ubiquitous nature of poor balance and catastrophic falls, which are commonly seen in older adults and various disability conditions. The present review provides the first comprehensive summary of Wii Fit balance research, giving specific insight into the system’s use for the assessment and training of balance. Overall, at the time of the fifth anniversary, work in the field showed that custom applications using the Wii Balance Board as a proxy for a force platform have great promise as a low cost and portable way to assess balance. On the other hand, use of Wii Fit software-based balance metrics has been far less effective in determining balance status. As an intervention tool, positive balance outcomes have typically been obtained using Wii Fit balance games, advocating their use for neurorehabilitative training. Despite this, limited sample sizes and few randomized control designs indicate that research regarding use of the Wii Fit system for balance intervention remains subject to improvement. Future work aimed at conducting studies with larger scale randomized control designs and a greater mechanistic focus is recommended to further advance the efficacy of this impactful neurorehabilitation tool.

Concepts: Wii, Nintendo, Wii Balance Board, Wii Fit, Wii Menu, Shigeru Miyamoto, History of video game consoles, Wii Remote


The Nintendo Wii Balance Board (WBB) is increasingly used as an inexpensive force plate for assessment of postural control; however, no documentation of force and COP accuracy and reliability is publicly available. Therefore, we performed a standard measurement uncertainty analysis on 3 lightly and 6 heavily used WBBs to provide future users with information about the repeatability and accuracy of the WBB force and COP measurements. Across WBBs, we found the total uncertainty of force measurements to be within ±9.1N, and of COP location within ±4.1mm. However, repeatability of a single measurement within a board was better (4.5N, 1.5mm), suggesting that the WBB is best used for relative measures using the same device, rather than absolute measurement across devices. Internally stored calibration values were comparable to those determined experimentally. Further, heavy wear did not significantly degrade performance. In combination with prior evaluation of WBB performance and published standards for measuring human balance, our study provides necessary information to evaluate the use of the WBB for analysis of human balance control. We suggest the WBB may be useful for low-resolution measurements, but should not be considered as a replacement for laboratory-grade force plates.

Concepts: Measurement, Metrology, Test method, Wii, Wii Balance Board, Wii Fit, History of video game consoles, Wii Remote


Persons with visual impairment (VI) are at greater risk for falls due to irreparable damage to visual sensory input contributing to balance. Targeted training may significantly improve postural stability by strengthening the remaining sensory systems. Here, we evaluate the Ashtanga-based Yoga Therapy (AYT) program as a multi-sensory behavioral intervention to develop postural stability in VI.

Concepts: Sensory system, Sense, Visual impairment, Wii, Wii Balance Board, Wii Fit, History of video game consoles, Wii Remote


Prior research exploring the relationship between evaluations and body movements has focused on one-sided evaluations. However, people regularly encounter objects or situations about which they simultaneously hold both positive and negative views, which results in the experience of ambivalence. Such experiences are often described in physical terms: For example, people say they are “wavering” between two sides of an issue or are “torn.” Building on this observation, we designed two studies to explore the relationship between the experience of ambivalence and side-to-side movement, or wavering. In Study 1, we used a Wii Balance Board to measure movement and found that people who are experiencing ambivalence move from side to side more than people who are not experiencing ambivalence. In Study 2, we induced body movement to explore the reverse relationship and found that when people are made to move from side to side, their experiences of ambivalence are enhanced.

Concepts: Experience, Philosophy of science, Knowledge, Wii, Wii Balance Board, Wii Fit, Balance board


The purpose of this study was to investigate the intra-rater reliability of a new method in combination with the Nintendo Wii Balance Board (NWBB) to measure the strength of hallux flexor muscle.

Concepts: Wii, Nintendo, Wii Balance Board, Wii Fit, Nintendo GameCube, Virtual Console, History of video game consoles, Wii Remote


BACKGROUND:: Two prevalent unmet supportive care needs reported by the non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) population include the need to manage fatigue and attain adequate exercise to meet the physical demands of daily living. Yet, there are no guidelines for routine rehabilitative support to address fatigue and exercise for persons with NSCLC during the critical transition from hospital to home after thoracotomy. OBJECTIVE:: The objective of this study was to evaluate the feasibility, acceptability, safety, and changes in study end points of a home-based exercise intervention to enhance perceived self-efficacy for cancer-related fatigue (CRF) self-management for persons after thoracotomy for NSCLC transitioning from hospital to home. INTERVENTIONS/METHODS:: Guided by the principles of the Transitional Care Model and the Theory of Symptom Self-management, a single-arm design composed of 7 participants with early-stage NSCLC performed light-intensity walking and balance exercises in a virtual reality environment with the Nintendo Wii Fit Plus. Exercise started the first week after hospitalization for thoracotomy and continued for 6 weeks. RESULTS:: The intervention positively impacted end points such as CRF severity; perceived self-efficacy for fatigue self-management, walking, and balance; CRF self-management behaviors (walking and balance exercises); and functional performance (number of steps taken per day). CONCLUSIONS:: A home-based, light-intensity exercise intervention for patients after thoracotomy for NSCLC is feasible, safe, well tolerated, and highly acceptable showing positive changes in CRF self-management. IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE:: Beginning evidence suggests that a light-intensity in-home walking and balance intervention after hospitalization for thoracotomy for NSCLC is a potentially effective rehabilitative CRF self-management intervention. Next steps include testing of this health-promoting self-management intervention in a larger-scale randomized controlled trial.

Concepts: Cancer, Lung cancer, Non-small cell lung carcinoma, Randomized controlled trial, Wii, Wii Balance Board, Wii Fit, Wii Menu