The Nintendo Wii is an exergame platform with a wireless controller, the Wii Remote, which is connected to the computer through Bluetooth. The Nintendo Wii remote enables players to interact with the computer through movements. The game Nintendo Wii Sports (Bowling, Tennis, Baseball, Golf and Boxing), was provided with the Nintendo Wii.
Although for reasons of simplicity we have chosen for a specific application (Nintendo Wii) in this study, the results can be translated to similar applications.
The study has collected data in Norrköping, Linköping, Jönköping and Stockholm. Since 2014 we also have collected data in countries such as Italy, Israel and the Netherlands.
More physical capacity and higher well-being in patients with heart failure through the use of the Nintendo Wii (HF-Wii study)
In total, 605 patients participated in the study (see figure).
The results of the study indicate that patients who played on the game computer could walk further after 3 months on the so called “6-minute walking test” compared to patients who received the usual advice on physical activity. Patients with the game computer could walk a mean of 30 meters further in 6 minutes. This means that patients who had received the game computer at home had a higher exercise capacity compared to the patients who received the usual advice on physical activity.
Patients with the game computer had more strength in the right side of their body (measured with the muscle function test) compared to patients who received the usual advice on physical activity.
The results also show that, after 3 months, patients with the game computer experienced a better well-being compared to patients who received the usual advice on physical activity.
What does this mean?
The researchers want to emphasize once again that it is very important for patients with heart failure to be regularly physical active. Patients can do normal physical activities (e.g. walking, dog walking, cycling), but could also consider playing computer games that make them more physically active. There are several computer games that patients can use to be more physically active, for example the Nintendo Wii, Xbox Kinect or the Sony EyeToy.
For further results and results in more detail, we refer to the website of the study: www.hf-wii.com (unfortunately is the website only available in English).