Purpose: This study examined the effects of a giant (4×3 m) exercising board game intervention on ambulatory physical activity (PA) and a broader array of physical and psychological outcomes among nursing home residents.
Materials and methods: A quasi-experimental longitudinal study was carried out in two comparable nursing homes. Ten participants (aged 82.5±6.3 and comprising 6 women) meeting the inclusion criteria took part in the 1-month intervention in one nursing home, whereas 11 participants (aged 89.9±3.1 with 8 women) were assigned to the control group in the other nursing home. The giant exercising board game required participants to per-form strength, flexibility, balance and endurance activities. The assistance provided by an exercising specialist decreased gradually during the intervention in an autonomy-oriented approach based on the self-determination theory. The following were assessed at baseline, after the intervention and after a follow-up period of 3 months: PA (steps/day and energy expenditure/day with ActiGraph), cognitive status (mini mental state examination), quality of life (EuroQol 5-dimensions), motivation for PA (Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire-2), gait and balance (Tinetti and Short Physical Performance Battery), functional mobility (timed up and go), and the muscular isometric strength of the lower limb muscles.
Results and conclusion: In the intervention group, PA increased from 2,921 steps/day at baseline to 3,358 steps/day after the intervention (+14.9%, P=0.04) and 4,083 steps/day (+39.8%, P=0.03) after 3 months. Energy expenditure/day also increased after the intervention (+110 kcal/day, +6.3%, P=0.01) and after 3 months (+219 kcal/day, +12.3%, P=0.02). Quality of life (P<0.05), balance and gait (P<0.05), and strength of the ankle (P<0.05) were also improved after 3 months. Such improvements were not observed in the control group. The preliminary results are promising but further investigation is required to confirm and evaluate the long-term effectiveness of PA interventions in nursing homes.
Keywords: ambulatory physical activity; autonomy; elderly; exercise; game; nursing home.