Wii Fit 'helps kids' motor skills'

Tags: children

Children with movement difficulties could gain benefits from using the Nintendo Wii Fit, new research has suggested.

As well as potentially positive effects on motor skills, the game could also benefit the social and emotional behaviour of children with developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD), according to a pilot study by UK researchers.

Two groups of children with DCD or other movement difficulties were assessed over the course of a month for the study.

One group used the Wii Fit for 10 minutes, three times a week during lunch breaks, while the other group was given a programme designed to help children develop motor skills.

Researchers said the children using the Wii Fit showed "significant gains" over the other group in motor proficiency, their own perception of their motor ability and reported emotional well-being.

The study has generated evidence to support the use of the computer as part of therapeutic programmes for children with movement difficulties, according to lead researcher Professor Elisabeth Hill, from the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London.

She added that "interesting points" coming out of the study are worthy of further discussion, especially in view of the fact that many children will already have the games consoles at home and are able to use them with minimal supervision.

Copyright Press Association 2013

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