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Exploring the physical effects of a mobile app-based social game on polish older adults. A pilot study

Author: 
Grzegorz Zurek, K. Jason Crandall, Anna Zakrocka and Matthew Shake
Subject Area: 
Physical Sciences and Engineering
Abstract: 

Introduction: Adopting healthy lifestyles such as reasonable physical activity, a balanced diet, and stable lean body weight are known to reduce risk factors for heart disease thus slowing the process of inevitable aging (Bamidis et al. 2014). Bingocize® was created as an intervention to not only attract older individuals but to retain their attention by utilizing a fun, interactive game to allow for the exercise of the body and mind (Crandall, et al 2011). Bingocize® allows individuals to be more social, which has proved to increase one’s lifespan (WHO, 2018), to become more physically active, and to exercise the mind. These all are important components of one’s longevity. The cognitive function is exercised by use of health-related questions incorporated into the Bingocize® game. The game also includes physical exercises for adults to increase balance, strength, muscle tone, and coordination. The increase in physical fitness will allow older adults to combat the natural process of aging where there is a natural degeneration of muscles and cognitive functioning. By continuing to exercise these parts, we are able to live longer, and healthier lives (Crandall et al. 2015). Aim of the Study: The aim of the study was to determine if Bingocize® (a mobile app-based social game) after a 12 week program was an effective tool for improving physical fitness and lowering body weight in Older adults in Krakow, Poland. Materials and Methods: Older adults attending the Krakow, Poland Senior Center (N=36; age 72.41 +9.23) were recruited and randomly assigned to (a) experimental (n=19; social game with exercise) or (b) control (n=17 no exercise) condition. Pre/post measures used in the 12 week intervention were: body weight, physical fitness (using Senior Fitness Test composed of 6 trials). Statistical analysis included a mixed-model ANOVA (p < .05). Results: Significant differences were observed in subgroups (pre/post) for body weight, chair stand, arm curl, and step test in both experimental and control group. Significant differences were observed in subgroups (pre/post) in experimental only for chair sit and reach, 8ft up and go, and back scratch. Significant differences were observed in control vs. experimental in chair stand in pre intervention and arm curl test. Conclusion: Bingocize® may be an effective tool to improve some aspects of physical fitness in older adults.

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