Award Date: 2016
Project Lead(s): Heidi Sveistrup, CEO and Chief Scientific Officer
Project Title: Motivating Engagement for Physical Activity in the Elderly
What is the issue?
Many older people living in long-term care homes, especially those living with dementia, do not get enough physical activity.
What did we do?
Motiview is a technology that enables people to go on virtual cycling trips. In consists of an adaptive cycle trainer paired with cycling videos of locations around the world.
We asked older adults with dementia to test the system. We gathered feedback from them as well as from informal caregivers and clinical and research staff. Next, we rolled out the technology to three long-term care units and two geriatric daycare hospitals. We evaluated the system to see if the videos increased older adults’ motivation and participation in physical activity. A total of 80 older adults, ten caregivers, and ten clinicians took part in our study.
What did we find?
Cycling alone had a positive impact. However, adding the videos increased engagement by seniors as well as care providers, staff, and volunteers. The videos helped seniors reminisce about life experiences and focus less on their current physical state. Initial coordination with physicians and staff was essential for engagement with the technology. Modifications with different foot and arm pedal options, or pairing the videos with treadmills, would allow more seniors to use it.