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Physical activity is well established as one of the most important factors for maintaining function and independence in daily life. With advancing age, several physical and cognitive functions, such as executive functions, balance, and gait, gradually decline, and over 30% of community-dwelling people aged 65 ...

Physical activity is well established as one of the most important factors for maintaining function and independence in daily life. With advancing age, several physical and cognitive functions, such as executive functions, balance, and gait, gradually decline, and over 30% of community-dwelling people aged 65 and older and 50% of people aged 80 and over fall at least once per year. Within neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), postural control and mobility are often affected and can result in an increased risk of falling. We know that exercise, in particular strength and balance training, can reduce the risk of falling. However, uptake and adherence to exercise training can be low in older adults. The need to promote self-management of health has come sharply into focus. Recent advances in technology support this initiative and facilitate the uptake of self-monitoring and self-management. The use of technological solutions like exergaming (exercise plus gaming), virtual reality-based training, and game-based applications offers a potentially cost-effective method of training balance and cognition in older adults.
Given the current situation of COVID-19, we have seen a shift in the face to face exercise and rehabilitation due to various groups shielding (aging, neurological). More so we have seen rehabilitation moving to a digital platform such as Zoom exercise classes. We know from previous work that exergaming and virtual reality training can be effective for older adults and neurological conditions to train and re-train cognitive function, mobility, and improve postural control. There has been a shift from the use of commercial exergaming (Wii Fit, XBOX Kinect) to bespoke purpose developed exergames such as MIRA rehabilitation, VR games like HTC Vive, and app-based solutions. We would like to explore in this Research Topic the theoretical rationale behind technology-driven exercise approaches and the effectiveness of such technological advancements applied in aging and neurological conditions. We welcome contributions, in the form of any article types, including, but not limited to:
• Systematic reviews on aging and neurological conditions around exergaming/virtual reality and technological advancements for exercise;
• Research studies (pilot, feasibility, RCT) on the use of technology for improving exercise in particular postural control and gait in older adults and neurological conditions;
• The use of game-based applications to increase physical activity in aging and neurological conditions;
• Methodological papers describing the rationale, design, and methods underlying Serious Games development targeting specific populations/neurological deficits.

Keywords: Aging/Elderly, Telerehabilitation, Exergames, Serious Games, Physical Activity


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