Exergames for Elderly Persons: Physical Exercise Software Based on Motion Tracking within the Framework of Ambient Assisted Living

Exergames for Elderly Persons: Physical Exercise Software Based on Motion Tracking within the Framework of Ambient Assisted Living

Oliver Korn (KORION Simulation and Assistive Technology GmbH, Germany), Michael Brach (University of Muenster, Germany), Klaus Hauer (Agaplesion Bethanien-Hospital Heidelberg, Germany) and Sven Unkauf (Wohlfahrtswerk für Baden-Württemberg, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3673-6.ch016
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Abstract

This chapter introduces the prototype of a software developed to assist elderly persons in performing physical exercises to prevent falls. The result—a combination of sport exercises and gaming—is also called “exergame.” The software is based on research and development conducted within the “motivotion60+” research project as part of the AAL-program (Ambient Assisted Living). The authors outline the use of motion recognition and analysis to promote physical activity among elderly people: it allows Natural Interaction (NI) and takes away the conventional controller, which represented a hurdle for the acceptance of technical solutions in the target group; it allows the real-time scaling of the exergame’s difficulty to adjust to the user’s individual fitness level and thus keep motivation up. The authors’ experiences with the design of the exergame and the first results from its evaluation regarding space, interaction, design, effort, and fun, as well as human factors, are portrayed. The authors also give an outlook on what future exergames using motion recognition should look like.
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Requirements

Although the adult recommendation defines aerobic intensity in absolute terms (e.g. expressed in METS), a different definition of aerobic intensity is appropriate for older adults, because the fitness level can be low. Moderate-intensity aerobic activity involves a moderate level of effort relative to an individual’s aerobic fitness. Thus, for some older adults, a moderate-intensity walk will be a slow walk, whereas for others it will be a brisk walk.

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