The report observed that people are living longer, but not necessarily living healthier and now they hope to accomplish that goal by using video games to promote fitness and encouraging older adults to get active.
Jennifer Margrett, an associate professor of human development and family studies and director of the gerontology program said that their program is focused on whole-person wellness, and they want to include that socialization aspect with the physical activity.
Margrett said that by socializing and doing interactive games, older adults are also exercising their brains, building relationships, and so it helps in more than one way.
High school and college-age trainers led the eight-week exergaming program that combines strength-building exercises with video games, like tennis or bowling. The trainers teach older adults, who may be intimidated by the technology, how to use the gaming systems so they can continue with the program after the initial eight weeks.
Researchers measured physical activity levels before and after the eight-week fitness program. Nearly half of the participants- all 60 years of age or older - initially described themselves as inactive. But by the end of the program, 52 percent of those inactive adults had increased their activity levels.
The study is published in the Journal of Aging and Physical Activity.