The old cliché is that “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”. Turns out, a little Call of Duty might not be too bad either! Okay, maybe an online frag fest with your grandfather might still be a bit of a stretch, but recent research has shown that a little virtual world exercise gaming helped prevent mental decline in seniors compared to traditional stationary biking.
The study compared elderly adults who rode normal stationary bikes to those that rode bikes equipped with a screen that simulated different environments as well as other bikers. The seniors who had the virtual world screen performed better on mental tasks like counting backwards and connecting dots by color.
Nintendo helped usher in the “geriatric gamers” with its revolutionary Wii console, so the concept of video games and health benefits for the elderly is not entirely new. Nonetheless, the findings are certainly exciting for those of us who have grown up with a controller in hand!