Investigating the Effect of Virtual Reality Techniques on Balance of the Elderly

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Assistant Professor, West Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 M.A. in General Psychology, West Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

Abstract

Balance is one of the determining indicators of independence in the elderly. Technology has the potential to improve the quality of life, health and functional abilities of the disabled elderly. The use of virtual reality techniques is one of the novel methods of using technology for improving the quality of life and balance of the elderly by fully participating elderly in this direction. The purpose of present study was to investigate the effect of computer-based and user-based virtual reality techniques on balance of the elderly. Sample consisted of 18 people aged between 70 to 90 years old in Garmdareh, Iran who were voluntarily selected and then randomly divided into two groups of nine. Participants in the experimental group participated in designed exercises for 10 sessions (2 sessions per week), but the control group did not participate on any exercises. Static balance was measured using the sharpened Romberg test and dynamic Balance was measured by the spent time to rise and go, before and after each exercise session. The Shapiro Villex test was used in order determine the normal distribution of data, and covariance analysis was used to determine the related effect of exercises. Results of the covariance analysis showed significant effect of designed exercises on both the static and dynamic balance of the elderly (p <0.05). In sum, the results of present study showed that virtual reality techniques can improve the balance of performance among the elderly.

Keywords