I often have conversations with parents who are concerned that their children are wasting their lives playing video games all day and night.  Certainly, the popularity of video games has increased over recent years and more kids appear to be spending extended periods of time in front of the television.  At a time when childhood obesity is becoming an increasing concern, is it possible that there are benefits to video games as well?

 

Researchers at Kyushu University believe so.  It is there that they are developing “Rehabilium Kiritsu-kun” which uses the X-Box 360 Kinect hands free technology to create on-screen movement.  The video game is based on the film “My Neighbor Totoro” and uses both audio and visual cues to encourage people who have had a stroke to stand up and sit down repeatedly.  Preliminary studies of the game suggest that using this game for rehabilitation allows patients to increase their sit to stand repetitions by 17-23% and thus increase their ability to walk.  The developers also believe that making these tasks more enjoyable increases compliance with what can be a long and grueling rehabilitation process.

 

The invention of hands-free video games such as the X-Box Kinect and the Nintendo Wii has opened another dimension to video games.  Instead of just your thumbs being active, the games can now capture entire body movements, encouraging increased exertion and allowing us to use them for functional rehabilitation!  So the next time your child is “wasting their life” playing a video game remember that the invention is not all bad.

 

If you are in need of functional rehabilitation or any other type of physiotherapy service, please contact one of our more than qualified registered physiotherapists to book your assessment.

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