Comparison of Efficacy Between Traditional and Video Game Based Balance Programs by ProQuest

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									Comparison of Efficacy Between Traditional and Video
Game Based Balance Programs
Kirk A. Brumels, PhD, ATC, Troy Blasius, Tyler Cortright, Daniel Oumedian, and Brent
Solberg
Hope College, Holland, MI

ABSTRACT
Purpose: The purpose of this research was to compare the efficacy of traditional and video game based balance
programs in improving balance performance measurements and compliance. Methods: Pre and post testing
procedures were conducted on twenty-five participants using Star Excursion Balance testing and force plate data.
Random assignment into either control or exercise groups (traditional, Dance Dance Revolution®, or Wii Fit™)
preceded training sessions held 3 times a week for 4 weeks. Results: Postural sway reduction for average
displacement and average deviation on the y-axis was observed in the DDR® trained group (p = 0.028, p = 0.031),
while average deviation improvements were noted in the Wii Fit™ trained group at (p = 0.043). There were no pre
to post test improvements in postural sway for traditional balance program participants. Statistical evaluation of
perceived difficulty and enjoyment of the programs obtained data showing the video based games to be perceived as
less strenuous (DDR®, p = 0.073, Wii Fit™, p = 0.014) and more enjoyable (DDR®, p = 0.007, Wii Fit™, p =
0.006) than the traditional balance program. Conclusion: This research was the first to examine efficacy of video
game based balance programs. It was noted during this research that not only does the use of video game based
research programs increase patient enjoyment and engagement, but they also improve selected balance performance
measurements. Therefore, clinicians should feel comfortable prescribing video game based balance activities as a
way to improve physical performance and patient compliance when balance improvement is a clinical treatment
goal.
Key Words: Dance Dance Revolution®, injury prevention, training, Wii Fit™.

Introduction                                                 restorative program needs compliance of the involved
     Previous balance research has validated the             parties. It is with this in mind that this research
efficacy of various balance training programs on the         program was conducted.
prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, and reduction of           The research team involved in this project
re-injury rates of lower extremity injuries at and           evaluated the impact on balance performance of two
around the ankle (1, 2, 5-10). While there is some           common market video games. One of the video
disagreement regarding the clinical usefulness of            games was used as created by the manufacturer,
balance programs in chronically unstable ankles (3,          whereas the other was modified slightly to facilitate
7) the data regarding the benefits of balance training       balance improvements. The physical performance
for prevention, treatment, and reduction of re-injury        benefits of exercise programs involving these two
in first or second time acute ankle injuries is such that    games were compared against a traditional balance
balance training programs should be an important             training program, as well as, a control group.
clinical intervention during pre-season, in-season,               Dance Dance Revolution® (DDR) and Nintendo
and post injury balance programs (1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 10).        Wii Fit™ are two examples of the activity based
Traditional balance programs have historically               video gaming craze that has become quite popular in
involved many different exercises aimed at                   recent years. Unlike many video games, DDR® and
increasing balance by performing single and double           Wii Fit™ require weight bearing physical activity to
leg stance activities on various stable and unstable         play. Instead of the typical hand controller, the
surfaces while also performing other distracting             DDR® and Wii Fit™ use floor mats or platforms
tasks. While these activities have proven helpful in         activated by the participant’s feet. During play, the
improving balance they can be considered boring and          games provide auditory and visual commands on a
not very stimulating to the individual performing            television screen, to which a player must respond by
them. This lack of interest in the exercises can lead to     moving their feet and/or body to c
								
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