Gamified at-home exercises shown to effectively prevent falls in older people

January 17, 2024
Mental Health Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA)

  • At-home exercise games (exergames) have been proven to be effective in preventing falls in individuals over 65, according to a large trial by NeuRA researchers.
  • Scalable prevention strategies are required to address falls, with one in three people over 65 experiencing a fall every year.
  • Participants involved in smart±step, an exercise gaming system developed at NeuRA, for 120 minutes weekly showed significantly fewer falls compared to a control group over 12 months.
  • The enjoyable nature of gamified exercises ensures enhanced engagement, reducing the risk of falls and potentially also cognitive decline associated with ageing.
  • The smart±step system is designed for intuitive, safe and self-guided use at home. Those interested in purchasing can join a waitlist via smartstep@​neura.​edu.​au.

A large randomised control trial conducted by Neuroscience Research Australia researchers found that at-home gamified step exercises were effective at preventing falls in people over the age of 65, reducing falls by 26 per cent when compared to a control group.

One in three people over the age of 65 living in the community will experience a fall every year. Falls are a significant public health issue, contributing to mobility-related disability and loss of independence, and are the second leading cause of unintentional injury deaths worldwide.

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