Dance-Based Exergaming in Older Adults: Examining Effect on Movement Kinematics and Physical Function
thesisposted on 01.08.2020, 00:00 authored by Ernest Kwesi Ofori
Falls lead to detrimental injuries such as fractures, and death in old age. The frequent occurrence of falls leads to increased fear of falls, less participation in physical activities, deconditioning and the increased incidence of co-morbidities such as hypertension and diabetes mellitus. Among others, the integrated dance-based exergaming is an emerging paradigm, which is readily available to all populations, including older adults, thereby increasing practice sessions that leads to potential improvements in balance, mobility and physical fitness. It is therefore critical to understand the important variables of assessment, the effectiveness of dance training and the tools for in-home assessment of performance of dance training as the benefits of dance is translated to the clinics, homes and communities of older adults. The studies in this dissertation examined the effect of dance-based exergaming on movement kinematics and physical functioning in old age and the validity of an assessment tool aiding in seamless translation of the benefits of dance to the clinics, homes and communities. Young (18-35 years) and older (≥ 60 years) participants underwent a dance-based assessment protocol for postural stability and mobility with three song paces. Additionally, older adults (≥ 65 years) with MCI completed a 15-session dance-based exergaming with 10 alternate slow and fast-pace songs. Lastly, for translation of the paradigm, concurrent validity test of inertial sensors and motion capture systems (MOCAP) was conducted. This dissertation was developed assessment protocol of dance-based exergaming and showed that young participants had increases in baseline center of mass sway area, excursions and joint excursions than in the older participants. The dosage of 15 sessions of dance-based exergaming led to increased feasibility and adherence rate comparable to similar studies, improvements in cognitive, gait functions, and increased stability, reduced fall rates and physical fitness in older adults with MCI. Also, inertial sensors depicted high validity and reliability similar to MOCAP. On account of feasibility and effectiveness of dance-based exergaming and increased validity of inertial sensors, an established assessment protocol may determine the improvements in outcomes during dance and provide confidence in translating the benefits dance-based exergaming to the clinics, homes and communities of older adults.