Wii can help older adults stay social

A new study has found that regularly playing video games with friends may not just be for the young - Dr. Dennis Wollersheim examined women, ages 56 to 74, and found that they became more social and physically active due to Nintendo's popular video game system, the Wii. 

The evaluation lasted for 12 total weeks. During the first six, the women went about their normal routines and Wollersheim recorded their usual physical routines during retirement living.

Wii can help older adults stay social For the second study period, the participants went to a planned activity group twice a week, where they played the Wii for 50 minute stretches.

Wollershiem noted that the fitness that is encouraged by the Wii also prompts social interaction.

"The physical nature of the play also encourages interaction between players and spectators. This makes Wii-play more connected to the real world than traditional video games," he said.

Experts have suggested that isolation can be a problem for older adults, although it may be less of an issue for residents of senior living communities. In these areas, it can be easier for seniors to form new friendships - especially if they have a common hobby, like playing the Wii.  

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