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Video Games Hold Promise for Healthy Aging

Video Games Hold Promise for Healthy Aging  Two new articles suggest that younger folks may have some competition over the video controller.

New research suggests that video game technology can be a valuable tool for helping people of all ages improve lifestyle and health habits and manage disease. Researchers have discovered that “exergames” have significant benefits for older adults by providing cognitive stimulation and a source of social interaction, exercise, and fun.

According to two articles in Games for Health Journal, the games help senior adults’ lead fuller, more independent lives for a longer time,

“The elderly often forsake their lifelong activities in exchange for the safety, security, and care of institutional living,” said Editor-in-Chief Bill Ferguson, Ph.D.

“This trade-off need not require the sacrifice of physical activity and fitness. Furthermore, video games offer an escape from routine. All of these benefits can improve the well-being of elderly adults.”

Experts say that digital games offer a home-based method to support behavior modification. The games can serve as a method to motivate individuals to take better care of themselves and to self-mange chronic conditions.

Physical, occupation and speech therapists are taking advantage of technology to develop home-based rehabilitation and training programs for older adults.

Video games also offer a good alternative to traditional forms of aerobic exercise, according to the authors, Hannah Marston, Ph.D., German Sport University Cologne, Germany, and Stuart Smith, Ph.D., Neuroscience Research, Randwick, New South Wales, Australia.

Researchers determined video games interest older adults because of the fun involved with gaming; the social aspect of the experience; the challenge it presents; the combination of cognitive and physical activity; and the ability to gain specific skills as a result of gaming.

Source: Mary Ann Liebert

Video Games Hold Promise for Healthy Aging

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Video Games Hold Promise for Healthy Aging. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 25, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2012/04/24/video-games-hold-promise-for-healthy-aging/37749.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.