A comparison of older adults' subjective experiences with virtual and real environments during dynamic balance activities

Rachel Proffitt, Belinda Lange, Christina Chen, Carolee Winstein

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The purpose of this study was to explore the subjective experience of older adults interacting with both virtual and real environments. Thirty healthy older adults engaged with real and virtual tasks of similar motor demands: reaching to a target in standing and stepping stance. Immersive tendencies and absorption scales were administered before the session. Game engagement and experience questionnaires were completed after each task, followed by a semistructured interview at the end of the testing session. Data were analyzed respectively using paired t tests and grounded theory methodology. Participants preferred the virtual task over the real task. They also reported an increase in presence and absorption with the virtual task, describing an external focus of attention. Findings will be used to inform future development of appropriate game-based balance training applications that could be embedded in the home or community settings as part of evidence-based fall prevention programs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)24-33
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Aging and Physical Activity
    Volume23
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

    Keywords

    • Fall prevention
    • Healthy aging
    • Task engagement
    • Virtual reality

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