Research: Active Play Video Games May Benefit Children with Cerebral Palsy

Research: Active Play Video Games May Benefit Children with Cerebral Palsy

Children with cerebral palsy (CP) can greatly benefit from playing “active play” video games – as opposed to the kind that don’t require any kind of physical activity. According to researchers from Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and the University of Toronto.

Children with CP that play traditional games face an even greater risk of being overweight or developing health issues such as diabetes or musculoskeletal disorders than other children. But researchers say that video games such as those found on Nintendo’s Wii can provide an opportunity to promote light to moderate physical activity in children with CP, and may even have a role to play in rehabilitation therapy. Their research was published online today in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

“Active video games (AVG) provide a low-cost, commercially available system that can be strategically selected to address specific therapeutic goals,” says lead investigator Elaine Biddiss, PhD, of Toronto’s Bloorview Research Institute at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, and the University of Toronto, Canada. “While our results did not show that AVG game play can be regarded as a replacement for more vigorous physical activity or muscle strengthening, we found that some games may provide targeted therapy focused on specific joints or movements.”

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