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Gaming to help older Australians level up their health

Video games are usually associated with truculent, sedentary youths, but they could be the unlikely answer to helping older Australians get more active. 

Less than one-third of Australians over 65 are getting the recommended level of activity, and exergaming (exercise + gaming) may be the next step.

UTS Game Development Lecturer Dr Jaime Garcia tells Deborah Knight that video games aren’t as bad as they’ve been portrayed.

“Video games are actually good for your brain and your muscles because they get you going and they get you thinking quite a lot.”

Dr Garcia says the project is about giving meaning to ordinary tasks, like walking.

“It’s about using games that require you to use your whole body. The idea is that we incorporate routines that get you to exercise even more in a playful manner.” 

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview

Armed with a Fitbit and a tablet, users will earn points for the steps they take, so the more you exercise, the more you earn.

They are looking for volunteers over 65 who can walk independently and commit to six weeks of participation.

To find out more, click here.

Image: Getty/ fabio camandona

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