Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wii Fit for Therapy - A Fun Way to Improve Many Deficits

I have recently returned from Anchorage, Alaska where I taught "WiiHab- Using Nintendo Wii in a Therapeutic Setting." The attendees were a great audience. The workshop began at 7:30 AM and ran til after 5 PM and everyone learned so many new ways to use Wii activities and exercises to meet therapeutic goals. Like at other WiiHab workshops, the Alaska participants brought a variety of expertise to the group. The therapists worked in all sorts of settings and enjoyed learning how Wii could strengthen their practice and improve their ability to achieve the goals set for different patient populations.
One patient population that Wii seems a natural fit for therapy is pediatrics. Kids are quick to master the use of the remote. And when compared to the geriatric population, the kids respond readily to the video game platform.
The Wii Fit and Wii Fit Plus offer so many great activities to improve weight shifting, dynamic balance and standing tolerance. Those who need to improve these areas the most often require much effort from the staff to guard and support them as they work on these goals. A group of therapists in Utah came up with a great modification to use with the balance board to help a student work on all of the above mentioned areas. Watch the student using Wii Fit with the modification as the therapists also provide hand over hand cueing for accuracy and verbal cueing for encouragement.
Use Wii more often in your therapy setting. If your rehab team wants to learn more, contact me and we will work together to bring the WiiHab workshop to your area of the country. The Wii brings FUN to Therapy. Don't be left out!