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Effects of a Nintendo Wii exercise program versus Tai Chi Chuan on standing balance in older adults: a preliminary study


[Purpose] This study compared the effect of the Nintendo Wii balance board (NWBB) and Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) on the standing balance (SB) of older adults. [Participants and Methods] Twelve older adults (NWBB=7 and TCC=5) completed the intervention and two testing sessions (pre-post). SB was assessed using posturographic measures with the center of pressure (CoP) in five modes: quiet eyes open (QSB-EO) and eyes closed (QSB-EC), on sponge (SBS-EO and SBS-EC), and with optokinetic field (SB-OF). [Results] Both interventions significantly decrease the area of CoP sway (CoPSway) in QSB-EO and SB-OF. The NWBB-group decreased CoPSway in SBS-EC and CoP velocity (Vmean) in QSB-EO, QSB-EC, and SBS-EC. The TCC-group decreased the Vmean in SBS-EO and conversely the Vmean in QSB-EC increased. [Conclusion] Sponge and optokinetic field were the most unstable assessments. These findings reveal the potential benefits for SB of both interventions, however the NWBB improved more variables in the postural control of older adults.