The effect of video gaming on physical activity among nursing home residents

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Tomika M. Williams (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Laurie Kennedy-Malone

Abstract: There are approximately 1.5 million residents living in nursing homes in the United States. For those living in this environment, opportunities to participate in health promoting behaviors, such as physical activity, have been limited (Kayser-Jones, 2009). The use of video game technology is now being used related to health and health benefits with older adults (Primack et al., 2012). Because there have been limited research studies conducted in long-term care environments related to physical activity and health promotion, current research is needed to further explore these phenomena. The purposes of this study were as follows: (1) to describe the use of video game technology, specifically the Nintendo Wii, with older adults living in long term care facilities; (2) to determine if there is a relationship among personal factors, perceived barriers, perceived benefits, perceived self-efficacy, and physical activity; and (3) to examine the effects of this video game technology perceived barriers, perceived benefits, and perceived self-efficacy for physical activity using a 6-week intervention with nursing home residents. Pender’s Promotion Model was used as a guiding framework for this study. Twenty-four participants, primarily Caucasian (n=20, 83.3%) women (n=16, 66.7%) were recruited from four nursing homes in and around central North Carolina. Prior to the start of the intervention, data were collected by face to face interviews on current self-reported level of physical activity and prior use of a technological device, as well as other pre-intervention measures. The majority of the sample reported being very physically active and had prior experience using a technological device. The intervention period lasted for 6 weeks, meeting twice per week for 45 minute sessions. The sessions included a 15 minute educational component followed by 30 minutes of Nintendo Wii game play. From the data gathered prior to the intervention, it was ascertained that the majority of the study participants reported currently engaging in physical activity (87.4%). Many of the participants (83.3%) reported prior use of a technological device, with the computer being the most commonly reported. Using the scores from the multiple regression analysis (F (6, 22) = 2.49, p =.07, R2 = .48, R2Adjusted = .29) revealed no significant predictors of physical activity at posttest. Paired t-tests revealed no significant change in key variables between before and after intervention. Although the study the findings were not statistically significant, the intervention provided some useful clinical information that can be used in the development of future physical activity programs for residents in long-term care facilities. The use of video games with older adults is a feasible, inexpensive method to assist them in physical activity maintenance. Initiating interventions that are tailored to older adults, focused on health promoting behaviors such as physical activity, within long-term care facilities can help reduce to maintain the functional ability of residents in long-term care.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Nursing home, Older adults, Physical activity, Video games
Nursing homes $x Recreational activities
Physical fitness for older people
Exercise for older people
Video games $x Physiological aspects
Video games $x Health aspects

Email this document to