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New research suggests the Wii Fit could help children with movement difficulties

by on January 14, 2013
 

With games becoming a main form of entertainment, it’s no surprise that researchers are looking into their other uses. Science has already proven that computer games can help improve long term memory as well as hand eye co-ordination, and a new study suggests that Wii Fit can actually help aid the development of children with movement difficulties.

A research collaboration between Sussex Community NHS Trust, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Trust and academics at Goldsmiths, University of London and Oxford Brookes University, Oxford has indicated that regular use of balance games on the Wii Fit could have a positie impact on the motor skills, and related social and emotional behaviour, of children with Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD).

The study had two groups of children: one group spent ten minutes, three times a week using the Wii Fit during their lunch break, while the other took part in their regular program of activities. The results showed significant gains in motor proficiency, the child’s perception of their motor ability and reported emotional well-being in the group using the Wii Fit. Professor Elisabeth Hill from the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths and one of the leaders of the study believes the study shows a preliminary success and evidence to support the use of the Wii Fit within therapeutic programmes. She commented:

“The results provide interesting points warranting further discussion, particularly in the view of the fact that many children have access to the Nintendo Wii Fit and may be using this system at home with minimal supervision. This simple, popular intervention represents a plausible method to support children’s motor and psychosocial development.”

These are some great results both for the children with DCD and for Nintendo, who probably never imagined that their system could be used for therapeutic programmes. The Wii is already used for exercise and physical training, so why not use it to help children with developmental issues? What do you guys think? Drop us a comment!


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