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Research & Investigations in Sports Medicine

Exergames Contribute to Reducing Sedentary Behavior in the Elderly?

Bruno de Freitas Camilo* and Rafaela Gomes dos Santos

Department of Education, Brazil

*Corresponding author: Bruno de Freitas Camilo, Department of Education, Brazil

Submission: August 23, 2019;Published: August 28, 2019

DOI: 10.31031/RISM.2019.04.000606

ISSN 2578-0271
Volume5 Issue2


According to population data, in recent years, the number of individuals aged 60 years or more has increased significantly in all regions of the world and it is hoped that this accelerated growth to remain for the next decades [1]. The population aging can be accompanied by many changes in the body as reduction of physical, physiological and cognitive. In addition, with the older age, one observes the reduction of work activities and the increase in exposure time to sedentary behavior that can be identified from the time that the individual spends performing activities like remain seated watching TV, chatting with friends, performing tasks, using computer, tablet, mobile phones or playing video games. Sedentary behavior is recognized as an emerging public health issue that may trigger some health problems like depression [2], cardiovascular disease [3,4], type 2 diabetes, mortality from all causes or cancer [4].

From the increase in the time of exposure to sedentary behavior presented by the elderly population, active games (exergames) emerge, which present themselves as an alternative to increase the level of physical activity and reduce the sedentary behavior. Unlike traditional videogames, exergames are electronic devices that enable participants active interaction with motion sensors from various types of games (e.g. walking, running, cycling, rowing, swimming, Fights, soccer and volleyball). In recent years, studies have shown that exergames can contribute to improving the health of people of advanced age. In a study involving 40 elderly residents in Spain and Switzerland, the participants performed at least 30 minutes of exergames per week for 3 months and after this period, it was possible to observe that the exergames contributed to the improvement of individual aptitude and Self-reported health [5]. In a study conducted with 22 elderly women between 60 and 78 years who performed aerobic and balance exercises through exergames, it was found that there was improvement in mood, aerobic capacity, shoulder flexibility, gait, balance, increased strength muscle in the upper and lower limbs, contributing to the prevention of falls and improvement of the quality of life of these individuals [6].

In another study involving elderly residents in a community, it was verified that the use of exergames was beneficial to health from the improvement in the ability to walk, balance, gait speed and mobility [7]. Similarly, in a study involving 65 elderly individuals aged 65 years or older, improvements in the mobility of the elderly who used exergames were evidenced [8]. Given the above, there is evidence about the benefits of using exergames on the health of the elderly. However, has not been identified any study that could explain if the use of exergames contributes to the reduction of sedentary behavior in individuals with advanced age and that is why it is suggested to conduct studies to investigate the possible relationship between these variables.


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  3. Bellettiere J, LaMonte MJ, Evenson KR, Sun ER, Kerr J, et al. (2019) Sedentary behavior and cardiovascular disease in older women: The OPACH study. Circulation 139(8): 1036-1046.
  4. Patterson R, McNamara E, Tainio M, Sá TH, Smith AD, et al. (2018) Sedentary behaviour and risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and cancer mortality, and incident type 2 diabetes: A systematic review and dose response meta-analysis. Eur J Epidemiol 33(9): 811-829.
  5. Neumann S, Meidert U, Guillem BR, Poveda-Puente R, Becker H (2018) Effects of an exergame software for older adults on fitness, activities of daily living performance, and quality of life. Games for Health Journal 7(5): 341-346.
  6. Zilidou VI, Konstantinidis EI, Romanopoulou ED, Karagianni M, Kartsidis P, et al. (2016) Investigating the effectiveness of physical training through exergames: focus on balance and aerobic protocols. In 2016 1st International conference on technology and innovation in sports, health and wellbeing. IEEE 1-6.
  7. Garcia JA, Schoene D, Lord SR, Delbaere K, Valenzuela T, et al. (2016) A bespoke kinect stepping exergame for improving physical and cognitive function in older people: a pilot study. Games Health J 5(6): 382-388.
  8. Taylor L, Kerse N, Klenk, J, Borotkanics R, Maddison R (2018) Exergames to improve the mobility of long-term care residents: a cluster randomized controlled trial. Games Health J 7(1): 37-42.

© 2018 Bruno de Freitas Camilo. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.

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