Background: Exergames (exercise and gaming) or virtual exercises have been reported to improve balance and functional mobility in older adults. The present study was conducted to evaluate the effects of virtual reality exercise, on the static balance, postural stability, and functional mobility among older women.
Methods: In this quasi-experimental pilot study, 15 older women aged 65 years old and above were divided into control and experimental groups. Our participants were recruited from Gorgan Neighborhood House in Tehran-Iran in June and July 2020. Following the pre-test, the experimental group completed three weeks of virtual training three times per week via Xbox Kinect Software, and the effects were measured after three weeks. The Biodex Balance System was employed to measure the fall risk index and postural stability index. Moreover, Timed Up and Go (TUG) test were used for functional mobility.
Results: One-way analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed a statistically significant difference in post-test between the groups concerning fall risk index in open eye conditions, (p <0.001), fall risk index in close eye conditions (p <0.001), overall stability index (p <0.001), and TUG (p <0.001).
Conclusion: This study demonstrated that virtual reality exercise could improve the fall risk index and functional mobility of healthy older women. Consequently, these types of exercise could be recommended as practical exercises for elderlies to be done at home or health care institutions.