Category Archives: Technology

Treating Cerebral Palsy with Wii Video Games

 

The Wii as physical therapy for cerebral palsyThe University of West Indies, School of Physical Therapy, recently conducted a study on the use of the Wii as a adjunct to physical therapy treatment for children with cerebral palsy. The study was a small one, only involving six children, but the results they found were very positive.

The Wii was chosen largely because of it’s affordability compared to other gaming consoles, making it a much more likely candidate to be purchased by the families of children requiring treatment. Compared to standard physical therapy treatment costs the Wii is very affordable.

One of the primary reasons cited for the success of using video games as therapy is because of the much greater likelyhood that the children will actually take part in the therapy. The video games, while being physically challenging, are also engaging and make the children what to do their therapy.

It is believed that the neurological connections in the brain are strengthened by the new activities offered by the ‘virtual reality’ game play and that the plasticity of the brain allows it to do some ‘re-wiring’ as a result of the mental and physical stimulation.

Although this study involved children with cerebral palsy, the researchers are excited to explore the possibilities of using the Wii with people with cardiovascular impairments as well.

You can read more about the study in the Jamaica Observer here: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/-Wii–care_8980080

A bouncy, anti-gravity workout with the new AlterG treadmill – Boing Boing

 

AlterG TreadmillBoing Boing has an interesting article on the (fairly) new AlterG treadmill. From the article: “The AlterG is no ordinary treadmill, though. It is a super fancy, super-expensive treadmill that isolates the lower body in a vacuum and literally takes off percentages of your body weight using technology developed by NASA.”

The treadmill can significantly reduce stress through the joints during ambulation or running and allows the user to set what percentage of their body weight they have to support. It sounds like a great way to enable early rehabilitation or to allow physical activity for disabled and overweight people who might otherwise not be able to get effective cardiovascular exercise. It can also be used to allow injured athletes to train through injuries.

The treadmill looks futuristic and comes with a price tag that is also somewhat out of this world coming in at around $24, 500 USD. While this sounds expensive, it’s probably not that outrageous if you were to compare it to the cost of purchasing exercise equipment such as swimming treadmills which aim to acheiving similar goals.

The AlterG is supposedly showing up increasingly often in physical therapy clinics.

A bouncy, anti-gravity workout with the new AlterG treadmill – Boing Boing.