Nintendo Wii Part of Rehabilitation

3 November 2009

Video games are speeding up the rehabilitation process for patients at Taranaki Base Hospital.

Better known for its entertainment value, the Nintendo Wii is also proving useful in helping patients’ recovery process.

A Wii video game console was among $5000 worth of equipment recently donated to Taranaki DHB by the Masonic Trust.

Occupational Therapy Advisor Jacqui Herrett says patients and occupational therapists have welcomed the addition.

She says the patients are having great fun playing the Wii, which is a new concept to many of them.

The Wii simulates sports and activities such as tennis, bowling and balance board.  “The gaming system allows patients to work in a virtual environment that’s safe, fun and motivational,” she says.

Research shows the Wii can be successful in rehabilitating people recovering from strokes, broken bones, surgery or who have Parkinson’s disease or cerebral palsy.

Unlike traditional video games, which only use the thumbs, the Wii requires using the whole body. It tests balance, hand-eye coordination, visual perception and sequenced movement.

“It’s a huge treatment tool from an occupational therapy perspective.” Mrs Herrett says.

Occupational Therapy Week is between 2-6 November 2009. The theme is “Occupational Therapists - Stand tall, Stand Proud”.

Occupational therapists work with children and adults of all ages, whose difficulties may be congenital or the result of an accident, illness, ageing or lifestyle. They actively engage people in activities to promote, regain or maintain health and wellbeing.

There will be a photo opportunity at Taranaki Base Hospital on Wednesday November 4th at 10.30am

For more information please call

Sue Carrington
Media Advisor
Tel 021 367 789


Last updated: Monday, December 20, 2010

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