User-centred design of an active computer gaming system for strength and balance exercises for older adults

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Abstract

Purpose: Active computer gaming (ACG) is a way for older people to participate in strength and balance exercise. Involving older adults in the development of a bespoke ACG system may optimise its usability and acceptability. The purpose of this paper is to employ user-centred design to develop an ACG system to deliver strength and balance exercises, and to explore its safety, usability and acceptability in older adults. Design/methodology/approach: This paper describes user involvement from an early stage, and its influence on the development of the system to deliver strength and balance exercise suitable for display on a flat screen or using an Oculus Rift virtual reality (VR) headset. It describes user testing of this ACG system in older adults. Findings: Service users were involved at two points in the development process. Their feedback was used to modify the ACG system prior to user testing of a prototype of the ACG system by n=9 older adults. Results indicated the safety, usability and acceptability of the system, with a strong preference for the screen display. Research limitations/implications: The sample size for user testing was small; however, it is considered to have provided sufficient information to inform the further development of the system. Practical implications: Findings from user testing were used to modify the ACG system. This paper identified that future research could explore the influence of repeated use on the usability and acceptability of ACG in older adults. Originality/value: There is limited information on the usability and acceptability VR headsets in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-111
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Enabling Technologies
Volume13
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jun 2019

Keywords

  • Exergaming
  • Falls prevention
  • Strength and balance exercise
  • Usability
  • User involvement
  • Virtual reality

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