Assessing and training standing balance in older adults: A novel approach using the ‘Nintendo Wii’ Balance Board.

Gait Posture. 2010 Nov 17. [Epub ahead of print]

Young W, Ferguson S, Brault S, Craig C.

The School of Psychology, The Queen’s University Belfast

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Abstract
Older adults, deemed to be at a high risk of falling, are often unable to participate in dynamic exercises due to physical constraints and/or a fear of falling. Using the Nintendo ‘Wii Balance Board’ (WBB) (Nintendo, Kyoto, Japan), we have developed an interface that allows a user to accurately calculate a participant’s centre of pressure (COP) and incorporate it into a virtual environment to create bespoke diagnostic or training programmes that exploit real-time visual feedback of current COP position. This platform allows researchers to design, control and validate tasks that both train and test balance function. This technology provides a safe, adaptable and low-cost balance training/testing solution for older adults, particularly those at high-risk of falling.

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