New research coming from the United States suggests that the Wii Fit video game and the Wii home console from Nintendo can be used to improve the development of children who are affected by movement difficulties at an early age.
The study was conducted by Professor Elisabeth Hill from the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths and Doctor Dido Green from Oxford Brookes with Doctor Ian Male of West Sussex PCT.
It shows that regular use of the balance video games included in the Wii Fit can have a positive impact on motor skill development and even improve social and emotional behavior for kids who are affected by Developmental Coordination Disorder.
The study tracked two groups of children over one month and those who spent just ten minutes for three times a week working with Wii Fit performed better in development tests than those who took part in their regular Jump Ahead treatment program.
Their motor performance was about three times better than of those in the control group.
Professor Elisabeth Hill states, “The results provide interesting points warranting further discussion, particularly in view of the fact that many children have access to the Nintendo Wii Fit and may be using this system at home with minimal supervision. This simple, popular intervention represents a plausible method to support children’s motor and psychosocial development.”
Doctor Male added, “Interventions are often limited within the health care system, and little is known about how technology might be used within schools or homes to promote the motor skills and/or psychosocial development of these children.”
The new study showing the potential medical uses of Wii Fit and the older Nintendo home console comes after another United Kingdom research program showed that the Kinect motion tracking system could be used in order to improve rehabilitation for those who suffered a stroke.