Balance and the Elderly
The work on the balance training games originated from the TEMPUS_G project. The advent of movement based controllers has opened up new possibilities of how we can interact within bespoke sensory environments. Given our interest in how perceptual based information influences the way we control and time our actions, this technology allows us to develop our own movement based games that are adapted to the action capabilities or affordances for all levels of ability. Thanks to additional funding from both CAP and CARDI we have been able to test how our new movement based games can improve balance control in older adults. The games provide a fun and engaging way of exercising.
We have successfully shown that we can use technology such as the Nintendo Wii Balance Board to monitor changes in centre of pressure (balance) and use it to create balance training games. Previous funding from the ERC and CARDI, has allowed us to show that playing these games for 3 to 4 weeks can significantly improve functional balance. Thanks to a Microsoft studentship, we have (Mahmoud Awad, PhD) investigated how we can use the Kinect to design adapted games for the elderly (AGE). You can find out more on this project here.
People with Parkinson's
This project, funded by an Innovation Grant from Parkinson's UK, aimed to see if commercially available movement gaming technology can help improve mobility and mood in people with Parkinson's. The project aimed to see if different Nintendo Wii games that already exist can help and if so how, and secondly aimed to see if specially adapted games could be used to improve balance and mobility.