A new study by researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia focused on positives — specifically lower back pain relief.
At some point in their lives more than 80 percent of Americans experience lower back pain, a debilitating musculoskeletal condition, according to healthline.com.
While excessive video gaming may receive a bad rap for impacting certain cognitive functions in some players, a new study by researchers from the University of Sydney in Australia focused on positives — specifically lower back pain relief.
Research participants 55 and older underwent self-managed video game exercises using Nintendo Wii Fit U. (Medicalnewstoday.com states that researchers received no funding from Nintendo.) Published in the journal Physical Therapy, the study’s intervention included “home-based Wii Fit U flexibility, strengthening and aerobic exercises for 60 minutes three times per week, with fortnightly calls from a physical therapist ...” Participants who completed Wii Fit U exercises demonstrated significantly greater improvements in pain and function at eight weeks, and research showed they were more likely to engage in flexibility exercises at six months.
The good news of the study is two-fold, according to medicalnewstoday.com:
1. Affordability. A video game exercise regimen could replace potentially costly supervised physiotherapy visits. And “low back pain costs the U.S. more than $100 billion each year,” says the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.
2. Accessibility. Individuals living in remote or rural areas with no access to a fitness center or professional services, as well as older people with poor physical functioning who are unable to drive, can access home-based video game exercises at any time.
There are plenty of fitness and rehabilitation video game choices available. The goal for chronic back pain sufferers is to keep moving, says healthline.com. Getting up every 30 minutes, even if it is for a few seconds, is important.
Other tips include sucking in the belly to stimulate core muscles, deep breathing, sitting in a chair that supports the curvature of the spine and concentrating on proper posture. Long bouts of a sedentary lifestyle may exacerbate or prolong back pain.
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