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COPD patients may breathe easier, thanks to the Wii
Date:5/16/2011

ATS 2011, DENVER According to a new study conducted by researchers in Connecticut, the Wii Fit offers patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) an effective workout and one that, because it is enjoyable, patients are more likely to use.

"Our study showed that COPD patients exercised at a relatively high percent of their maximum during three to five minutes of specified Wii Fitexercises, indicating the Wii Fit may be a reasonable home-based exercise regimen for COPD patients," said Jeffrey Albores, MD, Internal Medicine Resident, University of Connecticut Health Center.

The results will be presented at the ATS 2011 International Conference in Denver.

Regular exercise benefits COPD patients by increasing overall muscle tone and improving cardiopulmonary fitness. Getting patients to exercise regularly at home, while ideal, can be difficult, especially when in patients with COPD where exercise tolerance may be limited. Finding an exercise routine that patients enjoy may help motivate them to exercise regularly, said Dr. Albores.

"In order for exercise to be sustained in the long-term, the type of exercise should be agreeable to the patient," Dr. Albores said. "In this study, we aimed to find out the level of intensity of the Wii Fit exercises in patients with COPD."

Introduced by Nintendo in 2007, the Wii Fit includes exercise activities and games, including yoga, balance and strength training exercises, and aerobic activities. The system has been used by physiotherapists to encourage at-home exercise among patients. In this study, researchers decided to evaluate the ability of the Wii in offering COPD patients a viable and effective option for exercise in the home.

For their study, Dr. Albores and his colleagues recruited five patients with stable COPD. Prior to exercising with the Wii, a standard walking test was performed to determine each patient's maximal workload and heart rate, oxygen cons
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Contact: Keely Savoie
ksavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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