Elderly keeping fit with the Wii

Pensioners in care homes across north-east England, UK, have been enjoying the benefits of the Nintendo Wii to keep fit and healthy, using the activities on the popular Wii Sports game.

Residents of homes owned by Helen McArdle Care have been keeping active using the innovative Wii controllers and consoles, with the bowling and golf games especially popular. Each of their 5 centres have been given a Wii with the aim of giving residents some extra mental and physical stimulation.

Carole Thomson, the manager of Sheraton Court in Hartlepool, Teesside, told the Press Association: "The residents absolutely adore them. It is making them more healthy because a lot of the time they would stay in their rooms and not come out to do their armchair exercise - but now they do and it has become a bit of a competition between them to see who's the best."

"It's the first time I've ever seen one of these things, let alone played one, but it is great fun [...] It's much better than television, it's more interesting and everybody gets involved" said Jim Fisher, a resident in Hartlepool. Betty Dennis, another resident, revealed: "I'm really enjoying it. It's given me the opportunity to socialise with the residents and staff and to get to know people better. They tell me I'm quite good, but I would not like to say so myself."

A few months ago Wii consoles were also given to care homes and sheltered housing in Greater Manchester by Age Concern and Stockport Council. According to Councillor Maggie Clay, the older people "say that they can stand up for longer, feel younger and are more confident" because of the console. Margaret Brade, the chief executive of Age Concern Stockport, said that they hoped to "organise league games across sites."

In South Lanarkshire, Scotland, the residents of Whitehills Care Home are also using a Wii for exercise and to improve coordination. The aim is to try and reduce the number of potentially dangerous falls suffered by the residents and to keep them active, especially during the Winter months when outside activities are less appealing.

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

iPhone firmware hints at major hardware revision

Next Story

Carbonite updates Neowin about their Disclosure Policy


Commenting is disabled on this article.

It may be fun - but it does not keep you fit, just as the psp (or Wii) doesn't make you smarter.
In fact if you believe this ad-spirational stuff the it obviously makes you DUMBER

Wii's are also popular among those with disabilities or those confined to a wheelchair. It's a very accessible form of exercise and entertainment.

C_Guy said,
Wii's are also popular among those with disabilities or those confined to a wheelchair. It's a very accessible form of exercise and entertainment.

see that's what I don't understand, it involves more movement and physical activity than the other two. how is that easier than just pushing a button?

I'd say the games are more simplistic, but I don't accept the controller is more accessible to somebody in a wheel chair. if you can twich, twist, or jerk a wii-mote then you can push a button on a 360/ps3.

because a regular controller uses 2 hands and any game requires at least 7 or 8 fingers for different actions.

Most Wii games use motion with only the wiimote and 2 buttons, not even needing the nunchuck joystick thing. your movements register even at the slightest tilt, you don't need swinging your arms to play.

So thats why I cannot find a Wii fit anywhere in a retail shop or at amazon.co.uk.

All these old codgers getting them on the NHS.

Bloody government, no wonder the youth are getting obese.

Our county has a law put into place right about the time they came out, every nursing home has to supply one of these. I haven't seen one on the shelves since they were released. I went to Nintendo of America in New York New York, they had over 600+ just sitting around.........