“Gamifying Exercise in the Elderly," published today in the peer-reviewed Journal of Clinical Medical Research, explores the potential of gamification in promoting physical activity among the elderly population and how it impacts the various aspects of health and well-being.
Although the Centers for Disease Control emphasizes the importance of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise every week and two or three days of muscle-strengthening exercises every week, only about 15% of adults aged 65 and above in the US meet these guidelines. The consequences of this level of inactivity are profound in terms of health and longevity. Thus, motivating the elderly to engage in regular physical activity is important and quite challenging.
Gamification is the practice of injecting gaming elements into non-gaming contexts. This technique of gamifying healthy behaviors appears to be effective at increasing activity and long-lasting. Wearable fitness devices appear to be particularly helpful in boosting physical activity among the elderly. Popular wearables like Fitbit, Apple Watch, and Garmin gamify exercise by employing such techniques as step challenges, virtual group activities, and personalized feedback.
Gamification also likely improves mental health and life satisfaction. Because exercise has proven to be a crucial aspect of mental health and cognitive function, gamifying positive activities is likely to have wide ranging benefits.
In this review, I discuss the significance of gamification as a practical and invaluable approach to fostering regular exercise among the elderly. The review demonstrates how gamification can elevate physical activity levels, bolster mental health, and boost life satisfaction, even though the overall benefits may seem modest. Nonetheless, the diversity of observed outcomes warrants further exploration of specific gamification techniques.
The review paper “Gamifying Exercise in the Elderly” carries important implications for promoting healthy aging, illuminating the potential of gamification to transform health interventions for the elderly, shaping a brighter future for their well-being.
For more information and access to the full research paper, please refer to the
Heston TF. Gamifying Exercise in the Elderly. Jour Clin Med Res. 2023;4(2):1–3. DOI: 10.46889/JCMR.2023.4211