This study was derived to examine the effectiveness of video games used for balance activities in physical therapy. This helps establish the difference between delivering conventional techniques of physical therapy versus newly developed techniques involving computer based games that use the body as the controller. The purpose of this study was to find out if there is a significant advantage to administering an interactive computer game exercise regimen on balance as opposed to traditional methods of balance improvement. (Szturm, Betker, Moussavi, Desai, & Goodman, 2011)
With the ever-developing world of electronics and advancing field of video games, it is believed that physical therapy can also adapt to the changes of the world to become more advanced. It has been found that video games have a positive effect on hand to eye coordination, so the same theory can be applied to balance and coordination while standing. The older population has decreases in balance, coordination, and muscle function which cause falls and instability for them while standing and ambulating, while conventional physical therapy is effective, the problem is that the desire to complete tasks decreases because those tasks are difficult and painful. With the introduction of video games an aspect of fun can be added to treatment which may inspire the patients to be more involved. It is desired that bringing video games into physical therapy will cause patients to be more involved because they are having fun, and more important is that it will be more effective in helping the patient re-develop. (Szturm, Betker, Moussavi, Desai, & Goodman, 2011)
The subjects consisted of thirty community-dwelling older adults who were ambulatory, divided into two groups by random draw. All subjects received two treatments a week for sixteen weeks, with each session lasting forty five minutes. No significant differences in the patient’s mobility, sex, age, or gait speed could be found. (Szturm, Betker, Moussavi, Desai, & Goodman, 2011)
Control group received treatment that was generally prescribed for patients with balance issues. Exercises consisted of strengthening and balance work in both sitting and standing position. Uses of Thera-Band and leg weights were for strengthening, and a gait re-education and walking aid program was developed with the use of parallel bars. Additionally the patients participated in an unsupervised walking program. (Szturm, Betker, Moussavi, Desai, & Goodman, 2011)
The experimental group used computer games in unison with dynamic balance exercises with the use of a “center of pressure” position sensory mat placed on the floor or on a spongy pad. The data was collected by the pressure mat which calculated the pressure of the feet in different areas, while translating the pressure from the feet to move a mouse on the computer...