If you thought video games are only for teenagers, think again!
A survey conducted by the American Association of Retired Persons showed that video games are booming among people aged 50 and older. In just three years, the number of older adults who play video games frequently has grown from 40.2 million gamers in 2016 to 50.6 million gamers in 2019. The biggest spike in game play among older adults was among those age 50-59. Game play for that group was 49 percent in the 2019 survey, up from 40 percent three years ago. For adults aged 60-69, game play grew three percentage points, from 41 percent in 2016 to 44 percent in 2019. Among those aged 70 and older, there was a two-percentage point increase in game play, from 37 percent to 39 percent (1).
In recent years there has been significant work in integrating physical activity into video games. These games are created with the intention of helping motivate people with sedentary lifestyles to become physically active and are also known as active video game, defined as “video games that require physical activity in order to play”. The active video games have shown a high-quality potential to motivate people from all age groups to be more physically active (2) (3).
Application in rehabilitation
Currently, the non-adherence of the patient to therapy is a major barrier in rehabilitation, and in order to mitigate it, video games are becoming an integral part to improve the physical and mental weaknesses of patients in therapeutic processes.
Despite the many techniques available to facilitate physiotherapy, motivation and access are major obstacles for patients to achieve the necessary dosage of movements required for recovery.
Due to their engagement and motivational structure, video games have been shown to have positive impacts on cognitive and motor performance. The composition and principles of this type of methodology consist of rewards, goals, challenges, and meaningful play approaches to engage users for extended periods of time (4).
Serious games & Gripwise
Gripwise, through its integrated game app, allows to exercise different muscle groups and maintain their functionality. The solution allows an evaluation of the force exerted in traction and/or compression, assessing, in a gamified way, different muscle groups over time. With Gripwise, the exercises proposed for therapy can be carried out in a quantified and personalised manner.