Current demographic changes predict a growth in aging population. To decrease physical impairment and risk of developing chronic diseases but increase the overall health and maintain cognitive skills, the World Health Organization (WHO) highly recommends older people to conduct regular physical activity. However, elderly people (aged 60+ years) are the least active of all age groups. Reasons for that are multifactorial but with a lack of motivation, enjoyment and social interaction as key arguments. In this context, exercise-based video gaming offers an alternative to traditional exercise programs in a more creative and playful environment. Therefore, however it is essential to understand the needs of this heterogenic group. In relation to elderly people this means, adaptations to visual acuity, movement ability and cognitive skills must be considered as well as enjoyment, motivation and usability when developing an exergame.
The project is divided in different stages with various methods. First: Scan of existing literature in the field of active video games and development of evidence-based test criteria. Second: Testing various existing exergames under evidence-based criteria for usability, enjoyment, physical activity and social interaction. Third: Development of a target group specific exergame prototype based on their needs, subsequent testing of the prototype.
The major goal of this project is to utilize active video games along with social interaction to increase enjoyment for physical activity and motion motivation of mobility limited elderly people in their home environment to avoid personal social isolation.
A project at the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences Master Program Digitale Healthcare
Project Coach: FH Prof. Doppler Jakob