Wii fit and balance: Does the wii fit improve balance in community-dwelling older adults?

John D. Heick, Stacy Flewelling, Russell Blau, Jeffrey Geller, James V. Lynskey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Computer-based active gaming has recently gained in popularity as an intervention in physical therapy clinics. However, little evidence exists supporting its effectiveness especially in the elderly population. The purpose of this pilot study was to determine whether a 4-week, computer-based balance intervention using the Wii Fit is effective as an intervention to improve balance in community-dwelling older adults. Community-dwelling adults aged 65 to 80 years were recruited from 2 local community centers. Sixteen older adults participated in a balance exercise program utilizing the Wii Fit 2 times a week for 4 weeks. Changes in balance were assessed by comparing preintervention and postintervention measures using the Timed Up and Go (TUG) and Functional Reach Test (FRT). The Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale was used to determine the participants' perceived confidence in specific activities. Participants demonstrated improvements in balance as indicated by statistically significant changes in TUG and FRT (P <.05). The data from this pilot study showed improvements in TUG and FRT scores, suggesting that Wii Fit balance games may be used as a clinical intervention to improve balance in community-dwelling adults aged 65 to 80 years. The positive data outcomes warrant further investigation in using the Wii Fit as a balance intervention in a larger target population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-222
Number of pages6
JournalTopics in Geriatric Rehabilitation
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Wii Fit
  • balance
  • fall risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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