Effects of Exergames and Conventional Physical Therapy on Functional Physical Performance in Older Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Francisco Guede-Rojas, María José Medel-Gutiérrez, Macarena Cárcamo-Vargas, Adolfo Soto-Martínez, Luis Javier Chirosa Ríos, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Cristian Álvarez, Daniel Jerez-Mayorga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the effects of exergames added to a conventional physical therapy (CPT) program on functional fitness and dynamometric muscle performance for the sit-to-stand (STS) maneuver in older adults and to compare their results concerning a CPT-only intervention. Materials and Methods: Fifty independent older adults were randomly assigned to CPT and exergames (CPT+ExG group; n = 25; age = 71.8 ± 6.8 years) or CPT alone (CPT group; n = 25; age = 71.3 ± 7.4 years). CPT was performed twice a week (60 min/session) for 8 weeks. The CPT+ExG group added exergames for 30 minutes in each session. The Senior Fitness Test was applied, considering the 30-second chair stand test as the primary outcome. Additionally, dynamometric muscle performance during the STS maneuver was assessed. Results: The CPT+ExG group improved the 30-second chair stand (lower body strength), back scratch (upper body flexibility), and 8-foot up-and-go (agility/dynamic balance) tests (all P < 0.05). Both groups improved the kinetic dynamometric variables peak force, peak power, and total work (all P < 0.05). Also, both groups improved the 30-second arm curl test (upper body strength) (P < 0.05), although the increase was higher in the CPT+ExG group compared with the CPT group (time × group; P < 0.05). Conclusion: Adding exergames to a CPT program only significantly increases upper limb strength compared with CPT alone. The findings of this study have implications for the design of future exergame interventions focused on improving STS maneuver performance in older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-349
Number of pages9
JournalGames for health journal
Issue number5
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Aged
  • Exergaming
  • Muscle strength dynamometer
  • Musculoskeletal and neural physiological phenomena
  • Physical fitness
  • Physical functional performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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