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

umption and respiratory factors were measured. Patients were asked to perform four specified exercises from the Wii Fit program: running in place, upper arm exercises, stepping in place and obstacle course. Each exercise was performed for three to five minutes, after which heart rate, oxygen consumption and respiratory factors were again measured.

At the end of the exercise routine, heart rate was at 71 percent of maximum predicted value and oxygen consumption was 86 percent of maximum predicted value. Maximum predicted values reflect the absolute upper limit of what a patient can achieve through exercise, and is based on health, age and other factors. Most exercise programs aim to achieve from 60 percent to 80 percent of maximum values to be safe and effective.

"The preliminary data from our study indicate that COPD patients performed at 60 percent to 70 percent of their maximum during three to five minutes of specified Wii Fit exercises, reflecting a relatively high percent of their maximum," Dr. Albores said."This is comparable to what we would expect to see with relatively low-intensity classroom calisthenics."

The study also found lower extremity Wii Fit exercises approximate 70-80 percent of the pair maximum as compared to upper extremity Wii Fit exercises, which approximate 50-60 percent of their maximum.

"Because the lower extremities have bigger muscle groups, they approximate a higher percentage of the maximal values as compared to the upper extremities," Dr. Albores said.

While the Wii Fit offers exercise options that are similar to those available in traditional rehabilitation centers, Dr. Albores said additional research needs to be performed to determine if use of the Wii increases a patient's willingness to perform regular exercise at home.

"The video game system will provide COPD patients an adjunct to pulmonary rehabilitation by performing these interactive activity-promoting video game exercises in t
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Contact: Keely Savoie
ksavoie@thoracic.org
212-315-8620
American Thoracic Society
Source:Eurekalert

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