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Wii Fit consoles sought for Physio study

Thursday, 6 April 2017 12:02pm

Wifit-Physio-image
Physiotherapy patient Warren Herbert and former student Hannah Malloch use a Wii Fit gaming console of the type sought to complete a new research study.

Otago Physiotherapy researchers are looking for people who might sell them their Wii Fit gaming consoles, so they can complete an “exergaming” intervention study.

Dr Cathy Chapple of the School of Physiotherapy has secured funding for the study, which will look at whether interactive video gaming helps increase strength and decrease knee instability in patients with osteoarthritis. However, on the day she was finalising her funding application, she discovered the Wii Fit consoles selected for the study were no longer being sold in New Zealand.

"... we are asking any staff or students who might have one they no longer use if they would consider selling it to us."

“We could get some new from the United States, but we want to stretch the funding from Arthritis New Zealand as far as we can – so we are asking any staff or students who might have one they no longer use if they would consider selling it to us.”

Dr Chapple says the study will involve patients coming to physiotherapy once a week and playing on their Wii Fit at home twice a week. The study is intended to make exercising fun.

“Pain and muscle weakness are massive problems for people with osteoarthritis,” she says. “Exercise helps, but is only beneficial if people keep doing it.”

The Wii Fit was selected as there is a body of literature already using this particular product – but Dr Chapple believes any findings will be relevant to other forms of exergaming

“We are looking at outcomes of both strength and enjoyment, and these two elements would stand for any type of gaming intervention.”

Can you help?

If you have a Wii Fit console, balance board and games that you are willing to sell, please get in touch with Dr Cathy Chapple, Ph: 479 5428, Email: cathy.chapple@otago.ac.nz.