Wii for Exercise and Bone Health

Lila de Tantillo Health Guide
  • I'm not generally a fan of video games (I won't let me son play them) -- since they can sometimes promote an sedentary lifestyle that's not ideal for bone health.

     

    But I've recently learned that the nursing home where my grandmother lives uses a Wii system to encourage physical activity among its residents. With the guidance of the activities personnel, the patients -- many of whom are in wheelchairs -- can play games such as "bowling." In the challenge to get a strike or a spare, they're having too much fun to notice they're stretching and lifting their arms, and doing other beneficial movements.

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    I'm still skeptical about overindulgence in virtual sports when one has the capacity to do the real thing. But if one doesn't -- whether weakened by osteoporosis or another cause -- the Wii and games like it offer an interesting alternative.

Published On: February 25, 2008