Caring Currents

Wii Senior Sports Craze May Get Your Parents Moving

Last updated: Mar 31, 2008

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Every day, it seems, there’s a new study saying how great exercise is for the elderly. Good to know, but piles of research don't necessarily get our older loved ones active.

A video game may. The Nintendo Wii is all the craze in retirement communities and nursing homes, as reported in numerous local papers like Connecticut’s Republican American. The Wii is known for its sports games where players swing around a remote control to bowl, box, or play tennis on the screen. You can play sitting or standing, and yes, you really can work up a sweat.

Medical experts are taking note. University of Maryland geriatric physician Bill Thomas posted a fun Wii video on his blog Changingaging. And Wiis are showing up increasingly alongside weight benches and treadmills at senior rehabilitation programs, as highlighted in the Grand Rapids Press.

All you need is a TV and about $300 for a Wii (sold in any consumer electronic store, including on-line). Chances are your kids can teach your parents. Maybe your parents are already Wii'ing? What sports do they like?

Image by Flickr user Mitmap78 used under the Creative Commons attribution license.