Effects of using Nintendo Wii™ exergames in older adults: a review of the literature

J Aging Health. 2015 Apr;27(3):379-402. doi: 10.1177/0898264314551171. Epub 2014 Sep 21.


Objective: The purpose of this review is to summarize and synthesize the impact of using the Nintendo Wii™ exergames in older adults.

Method: A database search was conducted to identify relevant studies. The search was limited to empirical studies, with particular attention paid to the effects of Wii exergames intervention on cognition, physical function, and psychosocial outcomes in older adults.

Results: A total of 22 empirical studies met inclusion criteria and were included in this review. Positive effects included improving physical function, decreasing depression, and increasing cognition and quality of life in older adults. Improved socialization and motivation to exercise were also reported.

Discussion: Using Wii exergames does show promise as an intervention to improve physical function, cognition, and psychosocial outcomes in older adults. Evidence supports that Wii exergames is a safe and feasible tool to encourage older adults to engage in exercise.

Keywords: Nintendo Wii™; exergames; older adults; physical activity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Depression / prevention & control
  • Exercise Therapy / methods*
  • Exercise Therapy / psychology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Video Games* / psychology