Loss of independence amongst elderly people is often caused by falls and falls-related injuries. There is strong evidence that fall risk and fall rates can be reduced by exercise programmes that combine balance training with additional forms of exercise such as coordination and muscle strengthening1.
A recent study by the University of Trondheim (Norway) concludes that the SilverFit is the most applicable exergame for fall prevention2
The SilverFit provides a fall prevention protocol. The aim of this exercise programme is to decrease the number of falls and the anxiety to fall; especially for elderly who have experienced a fall. The protocol is developed by a clinical physiotherapist and validated in a pilot study. Research in collaboration with the Avans University (Netherlands) shows that the SilverFit exercises have a number of characteristics that make them especially useful:
- They stimulate the player to continuously shift balance
- They train lateral and backward step better than traditional exercises
- They offer dynamic, unpredictable exteroceptive cues
- They offer a cognitive/physical dual task
- They make the patient focus on the game. In traditional exercises, patients look at their legs or feet, which makes the movement less natural.
Virtual therapy for walking and cycling leads to better results on balance parameters. Gait and cycling training improves strength of the lower extremity. Unfortunately, exercising on a home trainer or treadmill is far less motivating than actually going outside. The SilverFit Mile projects a film, so that the indoor experience resembles reality
The SilverFit Newton is a virtual therapy system for strength training. It can be fitted to any type of equipment provided this works using weights. Training on a leg press is an intensive exercise to improve the strength of the lower extremity. The games used by SilverFit Newton make strength training fun and dynamic.
"The leg press used to be the 'torture rack'. With the Newton, people are standing in line for it”. Rolf van der Burgt, Physiotherapist
1 Gillespie, L.D., Robertson, M.C., Gillespie, W.J., Sherrington, C., Gates, S., Clemson, L.M., Lamb, S.E. (2009). Interventions for preventing falls in older people living in the community. Cochrane Database Syst Rev., CD007146.
2 Skjaeret et al. (2014). Designing for Movement Quality in Exergames: Lessons Learned from Observing Senior Citizens Playing Stepping Games. Gerontology November 10.1159/000365755