Concurrent validity of the Wii Stillness Test as a measure of balance performance in older adults

Anton J. Simms, Luis R. Hernandez, Emerson Sebastião

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Research grade laboratory force plates are considered the gold standard method of assessing balance performance. However, these can cost upwards of thousands of dollars. Discovering a more cost-effective way of assessing balance performance could prove to be beneficial to the older adult community. The Wii Stillness Test, a preprogrammed balance assessment test as part of Nintendo's Wii Fit exergame, may bring a solution in the form of providing an easily acquisitioned measure of balance performance. Objective: This study investigated the concurrent validity of the Wii Stillness Test (WST) as a measure of static balance performance in older adults by comparing WST scores with balance metrics collected via force platform. Methods: Older adults without cognitive or lower body impairment were recruited. Participants completed 1 session of 6 30-second dual-stance balance assessments: 3 on the Wii Balance Board using Wii Fit software and WST, 3 on the force platform. WST calculates a score (ST) while 95% sway area (SA) and average sway velocity (SV) were calculated from the center of pressure data. All scores were averaged. Results: A total of 26 older adults (16 females and 10 males), mean age 81.31 ± 7.84 years, and body mass index of 27.72 ± 4.92 kg/m2 were assessed. Spearman's rho correlations coefficients revealed a significant association between ST scores and 95% SA (p=-.61; p= 001) and a marginal association between ST scores and SV (ρ=-.33; p=.096). Conclusion: Our findings suggest the WST is a valid method of assessing static balance performance in older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalGerontechnology
Volume19
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Balance
  • Exergame
  • Older adults
  • Validation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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