FitDaheim – Research that makes you move

Playfully train and gain quality of life

Photo: Senior does gymnastics in front of TV

Everyone wants a high degree of quality of life - also and particularly in old age. From the age of 65 onwards restrictions in the movement apparatus are noticeable; from the age of 70, every second person complains about mobility restrictions. Studies show that simultaneously with the reduction of mobility, multiple diseases and in parallel, social retirement are increas-ing. Subjectively, this is perceived as a deterioration in the quality of life. A low-activity life-style has a negative impact on the cardiovascular system, the movement apparatus and breathing.

The good news is that active mobility has a positive impact on selfesteem and identity and strengthens selfemployment and participation in social life, while at the same time reducing costs for the health system.

Motivation

The „FitDaheim“ research project focuses on mobility. A prophylaxis-oriented physiotherapy and ergotherapy-based training program is being developed to promote movement and fitness in old age and to increase personal motivation. The training program takes place at home in front of your own television and is guided by a virtual trainer. In doing so, fitness exercises are proposed and presented by the virtual trainer. With the help of sensors, it can be checked, whether the person who trains performs the exercise correctly. The virtual trainer not only ensures the correctness of the exercise, but also provides tips for a healthy and life-affirming lifestyle.

Aim

FitDaheim wants to take advantage of the effects of exergames and edutainment (electronic knowledge sharing, in which the content is playfully and entertainingly prepared). Exergames refer to video games, where the control is via the movement of parts of the body, especially the upper extremities. They were originally developed as pure entertainment especially for children, but they are gaining importance for health, especially among older people.

A physio- and ergotherapy-based training module for the prevention and rehabilitation of mobility for people over 65 years should be developed and evaluated. The training module uses the Microsoft Kinect sensor and is used at home in front of your own TV. From the exergaming and edutainment studies one knows that a high motivating character is crucial for the success. A specially developed, age-appropriate avatar (an artificial graphic figure assigned to the internet user in the virtual world) is intended to give the trainee a motivating feedback on the correctness of the training and performance. In addition, knowledge units are taught to increase overall health awareness and health literacy. 

In addition to usability, the development focus is primarily on the use of the exergaming and edutainment effect. An app additionally visualizes various training scores as well as vital parameters (blood pressure, blood sugar values and weight) in everyday life. A step counter presents the out-of-home mobility gained. A broad evaluation is carried out by 30 test users in a field study in the form of a longitudinal test series over a period of 8 weeks.

A usercentred approach is being followed as part of the development. This means that the future users play the central role in the entire development. They are actively involved through multistage test phases during the concept phase. Their feedback will help the developers achieve the highest level of user-friendliness.

Results

A physio- and ergotherapy-based training program for the prevention and rehabilitation of mobility for people aged 65 and over. It can be run at home in front of your own TV set and is advised by a virtual trainer.

Cooperation Partner

  • AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
  • WPU GmbH
  • Center for Medical Statistics, Informatics, and Intelligent Systems, MedUni Wien
  • FH St. Pölten
  • Mühlviertler Alm
  • Contact

    Stefan Schürz BSc
    Researcher
    T +43 664 235 17 43
    stefan.schuerz@lifetool.at

    Term

    01.09.2016 - 31.08.2018

  • Project Type

    National Project
  • Support Program

     

    Funding agency FFG benefit with financial resources of bmvit