|Other Abstract||The aging of the population has gradually become the main trend of global population development. In the process of aging, the physical and cognitive functions of the elderly show a downward trend with age. The physical and cognitive functions are important factors in determining the quality of life in the elderly; it is particularly important to delay the physical and cognitive function decline. It is of great theoretical and practical significance to explore the relationship between the physical function and cognitive function of the elderly, and to find more targeted and suitable exercise intervention for the elderly. For the elderly, the adherence of exercise is low, and it is affected by sports skills, venues and facilities, it is difficult to adhere to a long time. As a new intervention way combining exercise and games, exergames can inspire people to exercise through more interesting interactive ways. However, the effect of exergames on the physical functions of the elderly is not clear, and further investigation is needed to determine whether exergames can improve the physical and cognitive functions of the elderly.
This paper contains three studies. In Study One, we conducted a meta-analysis of previously published studies on exergames training for the elderly to explore whether exergames can be used as an effective exercise way for the elderly's overall physical function, balance, upper and lower body strength, aerobic endurance, and gait. The results showed that the improvement of exergames on the upper body strength of the elderly reached a high effect size. The balance, lower body strength, and aerobic endurance were moderately improved, and the improvement on the gait reached a small effect size. In Study Two, we recruited 161 elderly people to explore the relationship between physical functions (balance, upper body strength, lower body strength, and aerobic endurance) and cognitive functions (executive function, memory, visual space capability, processing speed). The results revealed that the better the physical function of the elderly, the better their cognitive function, the inflammatory factor C-reactive protein may have a mediating effect. In Study Three, 112 elderly were recruited and randomly assigned into exergames training group, cycling training group and control group. Older adults in exergames group and cycling training group received 1 hour/time, 3 times/week for a total of 48 times Nintendo Wii Sports game intervention and recumbent stationary cycling. The control group maintained the original lifestyle without any intervention. The results found that exergames and cycling training improved the physical functions including balance, upper and lower body strength, lower body flexibility and aerobic endurance, and could delay the elderly's memory decline.
In conclusion, exergames training could improve the physical and cognitive functions of the elderly, and has comparable training effects as cycling training. Inflammatory factors may play a mediating role in the positive relationships between physical function and cognitive function of the elderly.|