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Video game 'improves coordination and concentration skills for elderly'

Video game 'improves coordination and concentration skills for elderly'
25th April 2008

Experts have concluded that playing on a popular dance game can have benefits for post-menopausal women.

A team from the University of Pittsburgh claims that playing Dance Dance Revolution, a computer game where participants follow on-screen instructions and dance on a mat, can lower women's blood pressure, improve coordination and sharpen their concentration skills.

They based their conclusion on a study of 31 women aged between 48 and 70-years-old, all of who took part in twice-weekly, 30-minute session on the game.

On average, the participants lost an average of 20 pounds and boosted their scores on concentration and coordination tests.

All of the women in the study said they felt safe playing the video dance game without supervision, and more than 90 per cent said they thought it was enjoyable.

"If we can engage people in mid-life in recreational health activities like this it will pay off as they continue to age," says study leader Dr Stephanie Studenski.

Further work is planned to asses the benefits of the game for early onset Parkinson's patients.

This follows recent news that gentle aerobic exercise can help boost cognitive processing speed, motor function and visual and auditory health in individuals aged over 50.

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