Exergames for Older Adults

Use and Usability of Xbox 360 with Kinect Exergames for Older Adults

Human Factors & Aging Lab with Prof. Wendy Rogers, Fall 2013 to May 2014

The Problem

Many older adults are not physically active enough. In 2011, 54.3% of 65- to 74-year-olds and 67.7% of adults ages 75 and above did not meet the 2008 U.S. Federal Physical Activity guidelines for either aerobic or muscle strengthening activities, according to the National Center for Statistics. Exergames, or video games played by engaging in physical activity, could help older adults become more physically active. However, the majority of exergames on the market are not developed with consideration of older adult users’ physical and cognitive abilities.

Understanding the Problem Space (Fall 2013)

I reviewed literature on older adults and exergames, then utilized heuristic evaluation and hierarchical task analysis to examine exergames for Xbox 360 with Kinect. I identified areas where these programs may prove difficult for older adults, and made suggestions for how a training program could be developed to help older users use exergames more effectively.

I presented my evaluation of usability of exergames for older adults (based on Fall 2013 work) in October 2014 at the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society’s Annual Meeting in Chicago. Click here to check out the poster.

Read the full article:
Marinelli, E. C., & Rogers, W. A. (2014, September). Identifying Potential Usability Challenges for Xbox 360 Kinect Exergames for Older Adults. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting (Vol. 58, No. 1, pp. 1247-1251). SAGE Publications. DOI: 10.1177/1541931214581260

"What Time Is It?" in Body and Brain Connection
Instructions for “What Time Is It?” in Body and Brain Connection
"Zen Energy" in Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012
Midway through a “Zen Energy” class in Your Shape Fitness Evolved 2012

Usability Study (Spring 2014)

Team for Spring 2014:
Grace Cha
Jordan Hartley

The individual investigation soon evolved into a three-person project. We conducted a research study to identify and understand initial errors made by older novice exergame users. Our Exergames team refined the initial study design and tested participants with exergames for Microsoft Xbox 360 with Kinect. The intent is to leverage these findings to develop guidelines for designing a tutorial to help older adults use exergames.

We presented at the Georgia Tech GVU and Digital Media Spring 2014 Showcase and Georgia Tech’s Healthy Environments and Active Lifestyles (HEAL) Open House 2014.

Click here to see our poster.