Development of an exergame for Urban-dwelling older adults with functional limitations: Results and lessons learned

Sarah L. Szanton, Rachel K. Walker, Jyong H. Lim, Laura Fisher, Andong Zhan, Laura N. Gitlin, Roland J. Thorpe, Andreas Terzis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Falls at home are common and potentially fatal for disabled older adults. To address this problem, we created an academic–community partnership involving disabled, urban-dwelling older adults and their families, the housing authority, a Tai Chi master, and a university. Objectives: We conducted a pilot to assess safety, acceptability, and feasibility of a Wii-based exergame designed to increase disabled older adults’ strength and balance. Methods: A working prototype was developed and evaluated. Then, we piloted a refined version with 19 disabled urbandwelling older adults. Results: The program was enjoyable, feasible, and acceptable. Participants described multiple functional improvements. Of the 16 who completed at least three gaming sessions, average balance score increased 25% and gait speed increased 19%. Conclusions: This pilot showed promising results for improving strength and balance in the home setting, and yielded valuable lessons about health technology development with community partners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-81
Number of pages9
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Activities of daily living
  • Community health partnerships
  • Disabled persons
  • Health promotion
  • Household products
  • Nursing
  • Rehabilitation
  • Urban population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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