Study suggests Wii Fit can be used to treat children with motor skill deficiencies

Playing Nintendo's Wii Fit exercise games could aid development in children with motor skill deficiencies and Development Coordinator Disorder, according to research results shared by London's Goldsmiths' College today.

The pilot study suggests that regular participation in the Wii Fit's balance games could help improve motor skills as well as related emotional and social behaviors in affected children.

Over one month, the research team studied two groups of children with DCD and other movement difficulties. One group used Wii Fit for 10 minutes three times a week, while the second group took part in a different program focused on motor skill development. More children in the Wii Fit showed significant progress in motor proficiency and reported emotional well-being during the testing period than the group using the other program.

"This simple, popular intervention represents a plausible method to support children's motor and psychosocial development."

According to project head Professor Elisabeth Hill of Goldsmiths' psychology department, the evidence suggests successful use of the Wii Fit with therapeutic programs for afflicted children.

"The results provide interesting points warranting further discussion, particularly in view of the fact that many children have access to the Nintendo Wii Fit and may be using this system at home with minimal supervision," Hill said in a press release. "This simple, popular intervention represents a plausible method to support children's motor and psychosocial development."

Research was conducted by Goldsmiths' in partnership with Sussex Community NHS Trust, Oxford Brookes University and the teaching hospitals of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Trust.

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