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Wii-hab: golf game used in physical therapy

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First, Wii games were lauded for their ability to make exercise fun. Now, Wii Golf is being used to make rehabilitation exercises more fun.

Image via Nintendo Wii

First Wii games were lauded for their ability to make exercise fun. Now Wii Golf is being used to make rehabilitation exercises more fun. Physical therapists are using the game for a wide variety of treatments and finding that it allows their patients to put the exercises and movements they've been working on into practice while experiencing an element of enjoyment as well. It also allows patients to reinforce what they've learned in rehab at home without taking time away from their day because they can instead build this activity in with friends and family members. "Patients are more willing to do the practice and repetition we’re asking them to do in therapy if they are having fun," Redwood California's Kaiser Permanente neurological physical therapy residency program director Dr. Arlene McCarthy told the NYT.

The NYT reports that it can be used in physical, neurological, or occupational rehabilitation, helping someone who is trying to regain balance ranging to someone who needs to improve range of motion in a specific area. When patients get involved in the game, therapists explain, they often attempt and accomplish movements that even they did not realize they were capable of.

Mike Pelletier, who is recovering from a stroke, told the NYT that he credited the Wii game for helping improve his balance. "The game is fun," Pelletier, who played it at home with his granddaughter said, "but it's constructive."

[via NYT]

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Jenny Wilson

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Jenny Wilson is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. She has written for Time.com and Swimming World Magazine and served stints at The American Prospect and The Atlantic Monthly magazines. She is currently pursuing a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure